Arcadia Honors Class

Arcadia University Honors Class

In the spring of 2011, ten random honors students joined the course “Leadership in Action”, where our outstanding profesors, Nancy Walsh and Rob Nydick, allowed us free reign for the semester. The course is designed to allow students to work together on a project of their choice. Little did these ten students know that their project would lead to impacting a group of middle school students, as well as our own personal reflection and growth.

In the long brainstorming process, a classmate named Suzy Conicillo explained to us the work that her sister Amy Scalera is doing with teens from Roxborough.Amy’s mission through her upcoming non-profit called Teen UpRise is to, “guide students towards physical, emotional, and spiritual health while helping them plan for success in adulthood.”

After being initially hooked on the project, we jumped in to planning a successful meeting with the Teen UpRise students. We quickly learned about the strengths of our different Arcadia classmates and worked together using those strengths to create a meaningful and exciting partnership. After visiting their church twice and learning about them, we wanted to show them our perspective at Arcadia University.

Our hopes in bringing Teen UpRise to Arcadia was to encourage the teens of varying realities to see that college could be in their future. The “Leadership in Action” classmates, were all assigned to specific roles in the planning and execution of a fun and thoughtful day on our campus.

Every classmate was instrumental in making this a meaningful experience for all those involved. Lynn Beatty and Rachael Jones worked together to create behavior expectations for the Teen UpRise students while on campus. These guidelines provided a groundwork for a successful day by challenging the students to rise to the occasion of being on a college campus. Taylor Patterson figured out all of the logistical aspects of bringing middle schools students to a college campus. Through the help of Erin Cote and Lynn Beatty, the teenagers met Arcadia’s career development counselors and representatives from Gateway and Act 101. With the help of Kelsey Eggert our schedule ran smoothly as we went from improv to art to science to psychology. Dan Brophy, Chris Miller, Vicky Tomlinson, and Ashling Suppan created these entertaining and educational activities, which the Teen UpRise students loved.

Although our class has ended, we are continuing a partnership with the teenagers in hopes to learn from one another and share perspectives. In addition, Teen UpRise is now open to fulfil Arcadia’s Global Connection Experience and Reflection. We know that anyone who gets involved with this amazing program will make a difference to these very special young adults, as well as gain a new multifaceted understanding.