YMAP Project: Pittsburgh Young Leaders' Academy (PYLA) at Peabody
Tenth and eleventh grade students from the Pittsburgh Young Leaders' Academy (PYLA) at Pittsburgh Peabody High School participated in the Youth Media Advocacy Project during the fall 2010 semester.
(PYLA is an initiative of Pittsburgh Cares in conjunction with the Pittsburgh Public Schools.)
High school student and
Carlow YMAP mentor
A Carlow Communications for Advocacy major, from Carlow's Youth Media Advocacy course (CM/SWSL400), and the YMAP Director met with the high school students each week from October to December 2010.
The Carlow student mentor engaged the high school youth in discussions about education. The students also surveyed teachers, parents and peers to inform this discussion. Pittsburgh Peabody High School is scheduled to close at the end of the 2010-2011 school year. The building will become Pittsburgh Obama, and current Peabody students will be reassigned to other schools. In discussions, the students processed their feelings of sadness about their "alma mater" closing and their regret that they won't be able to graduate from Peabody HS.
Student in PCTV-21's control room
The Carlow mentor also facilitated discussion about what the students would like to see in the remaining years of their high school education.
The teens identified the following characteristics of their ideal school environment:
A wide choice of electives and clubs
Effective and caring teachers
A family-like school atmosphere where students can express their feelings (making the experience of school "more like PYLA")
Focused, achievement-oriented students
Clean, inviting facilities
Greater diversity in exposure to students from different backgrounds
As a media strategy, the students produced a talk show on PCTV-21, entitled "A New Beginning".
Student working a camera at PCTV-21
The students also ran ads on commercial TV in the early morning local news to reach educators, education decision-makers and parents; and to have an Internet presence.
The Carlow mentor worked with the students to do storyboarding and scripting of TV segments dealing with the students' core ideas. The students went to PCTV-21's studio, filmed segments and learned how to work in the control room.
The students also presented their ideas and a rough cut of their talk show to community leaders from business, education, government, foundations and the media at Civics Fair 2010 on December 10, 2010.
Carlow University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education
The Middle States Commission on Higher Education is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the
US. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.