1. Cambridge Scholars Program, Oxbridge Academy
Co-founded in 2015 by Oxbridge Academy and Cambridge University, the Cambridge Scholars Program allows students to dive deep into an interdisciplinary subject taught by Cambridge faculty.
The Cambridge Scholars Program is exclusively offered to a small group of 15-18 Oxbridge juniors who are selected through a competitive application process that involves extensive research and the creation of a 5-7 minute video introducing the focus of study and connecting the way British writers directly or indirectly commented on the selected theme.
At Oxbridge, an Honors Seminar course on British Literature provides preparation; at Cambridge, students attend 18-22 90-minute lectures, all given by Cambridge faculty. To graduate from the program, students write a 2,500-word paper on one of the featured texts. The essay is scored by Cambridge faculty using Cambridge’s grading criteria. Students then defend their thinking in a 30-minute session with the professor.
Students leave Cambridge as more advanced students with a broader appreciation for lectures and a better understanding and appreciation for research. Since launching, 80 students have graduated from the program. Alumni of the program are attending and have graduated from many of the country’s top universities, including Brown, Columbia, Duke, Johns Hopkins, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Princeton, and Yale.
The experience was described by one student who wrote: “It is impossible for me to express the impact the trip had on my life, but I can say with all certainty that I would recommend the program to anyone and everyone.”
2. Entrepreneurial Program, Saint Andrew’s School
Thomas Edison. Henry Ford. Oprah Winfrey. Steve Jobs. Jeff Bezos.
Many of the world’s greatest entrepreneurs have come from the United States, fueled by an inventive spirit and playful experimentation. For entrepreneurs, failure is not an obstacle to progress, rather a passport to success.
It’s that same inventive spirit that drives the Entrepreneurial program at Saint Andrew’s Upper School each and every day. The Entrepreneurial program offers next-generation classes in Honors Investments and Entrepreneurship, Social Entrepreneurship, TEDEd, and Social Media that are somewhat non-traditional, or disruptive – the hallmark of entrepreneurial thinking.
The Entrepreneurial program courses are available to students in grades 10-12 and take place in the new $8 million Dr. Albert Cohen Family Center for Entrepreneurial Studies. The Cohen Center, at over 13,000 square feet, is a hub for innovation, featuring 21st-century classrooms, collaborative meeting spaces, and Kessler Digital Media Institute.
The Entrepreneurial program courses have found success inside and out of the classroom. In the Honors Investment and Entrepreneurship class, students took first place in the H&R Block National Budget Challenge, ‘Innovate South Florida Business Plan Competition 2019,’ and the ‘Miami Herald Startup Pitch Competition 2019.’ In the Social Entrepreneurship Class, students helped Saint Andrew’s School achieve official designation as the First Fair Trade School in the state of Florida. In the TED-Ed class, students worked together diligently to produce and showcase TEDxSaintAndrew’sSchool for the whole world to watch.
At Saint Andrew’s School, there is no doubt that the Entrepreneurial program helps future business leaders discover their full potential – where any Scot can be inspired to begin a journey to a uniquely meaningful life.
3. Innovation Program, Grandview Preparatory School
The Innovation Program (IP) at Grandview Preparatory School in Boca Raton offers a personalized learning experience which helps Middle and Upper School students discover design thinking, passion-based research and develop hands on skills. In the 2018-19 school year alone, students harnessed the power of the sun and published their first book. Grandview truly believes that learning and its outcomes are more meaningful to students when teachers engage their passions and unleash their creativity.
When it comes to Middle School boys, tacos can be a real motivator. At the regional Boca Raton Energy Whiz Expo, students in grades 4-12 were challenged to design and build solar cookers and create an original food dish. Grandview’s IP team cooked up Chef Sol Steak Tacos in a special renewable, clean energy cooker and served them in 3-D printed “taco pockets” to the judges. They won 1st Place All Around.
One of Grandview’s most successful IP projects, Equal and Empowered, is an organization founded 3 years ago and funded by Palm Beach Philanthropy Tank. E+E is committed to promoting equality for all and creating positive change. Several students and alumni published their first book on that topic and celebrated with an on-campus book signing. “Equal + Empowered” is currently for sale on Barnes and Noble.com and Amazon.com.
Though the Innovation Program at Grandview is constantly evolving, we’ve found that quality colleges are likely to favor students involved because they are displaying an ownership over their education. Grandview remains committed to expanding opportunities in experiential learning for students.
4.Palm Beach Day Academy Coral Project
Participating in a real-world race against time to understand and rescue coral from the stress being placed on the species by climate change, Upper Campus students at Palm Beach Day Academy founded the PBDA Coral Project in Fall 2018 to help focus local and national attention on the plight of the world’s reefs. Throughout the school year, PBDA students learn how to care for coral and collect data for the ongoing research with the ultimate three-pronged goal of the project being: to enhance the educational curriculum through STEAM-based opportunities in real world content, to provide growth-rate data about three species of stoney coral, and to raise awareness of the issue – locally and globally – through student-led social media and podcasting programs. For the ’19-’20 school year, the Coral Project will grow to reach all grades and expand to include additional environmental research vital to Florida – mangroves, Everglades, and more. Through this expansion of the PBDA Coral Project, students of all ages will have the opportunity to learn first hand what they can do personally to affect these vital current issues. Most importantly, however, the school’s hope is to show how the students’ unique perspectives can play a part in conserving our natural resources.
5. Take Stock in Children Palm Beach
For nearly 25 years, breaking the cycle of poverty for underprivileged students through education has been the mission of Take Stock in Children. In Palm Beach County, we witness firsthand how lowincome students are deprived of the most important credential for upward mobility – post-secondary education. Through Take Stock in Children’s successful public-private partnership model we have successfully transformed the lives of over 2,000 disadvantaged kids.
Students are recruited in 9th grade and assigned a College Readiness Coach who meets regularly with them to promote good grades, attendance and provide social emotional support. Upon successful completion of the program, each student receives a 2-year Florida Prepaid college scholarship.
The heart of the Take Stock in Children program are volunteer community mentors, who meet individually with students on a weekly basis at their school. Via our one-on-one mentoring component, we have observed underprivileged youth thrive because a caring adult provided them with emotional support in developing their gifts to reach their full potential.
Take Stock in Children leaves a lasting impact on students served both during high school and after they graduate. After high school graduation, our College Retention department continues to provide students with wrap around support services geared toward post-secondary completion. Over 700 alumni receive our college retention services, and 74% of our students complete a college degree which is 5 times higher than the national average. We invite you to join our mission and ‘take stock’ in our youth.