By Maxwell Akuamoah-Boateng
December 2, 2016
Maxwell serves as Madison High School’s mathematics and science teacher. A OneGoal Program Director, his Year 1 cohort is beginning to make the connection on how investments in their education today can lead them to achieve their highest ambitions, including earning a college degree. Here he gives us a glimpse into his experience.
OG: Why did you choose to work with OneGoal?
MA: I became a OneGoal Program Director because of my students. They would often share with me their challenges with life and their future ambitions. I realized that throughout the school year, my students were missing out on opportunities, not for lack of interest, but because of a lack of understanding and exposure. Having been influenced by my mentors and their experiences, I was determined to find an avenue to help my students maximize their trajectory. Through OneGoal, I can now dedicate an entire class period, rather than a few minutes here and there, to helping my students reach one of the most crucial stepping stones for their success: a college degree.
OG: Describe your relationship with your cohort.
MA: Our relationship is simply tight! We have been able to successfully create an interdependent environment where everyone is comfortable enough to express their thoughts, feelings and ideas. We’ve worked hard to create a transparent environment where we are honest and we engage in a lot of dialogue. We also have fun: we enjoy being creative, we even have sing-a-longs on bus trips!
OG: How has working with OneGoal impacted your students and yourself?
MA: Working with OneGoal has made my students feel like they matter and empowered them to seek out avenues to improve their performance, academically and socially. As a Program Director, I have the tools to help students connect how success of long-term goals, such as graduating from college, depends on the investment of short-term goals, like improving one’s GPA. The program has also helped me learn how to give students a platform for them to explore and express their voice/concerns in a world where they are misunderstood as well as uncertain.
OG: What have you found to be the most helpful for you in this Program Director role?
MA: My understanding of the college application and selection process is crucial for me to truly serve my students as a Program Director. Understanding how to use OneGoal’s college application tools has helped me guide my students in developing strong portfolios and gathering pertinent information to support their college decision making process.
OG: What have been the greatest and most challenging parts about OneGoal?
MA: It has been challenging for my Fellows to remain focused in order to meet the academic goals OneGoal helped them set. Issues arise that challenge my students often, whether that be a quarrel with another student, a confrontation with a teacher, or domestic challenges. These obstacles have been a distraction for some of my students. However, being a part of the OneGoal cohort has helped them find the grit to overcome these obstacles.
December 8, 2017
When Y2 Fellow Jonathan J. hadn’t heard back from his top college, he was ready to throw in the towel. However, he took his Program Director’s advice and reached out, which would set him on the path to reaching his childhood dreams. Here he shares the top lessons from his Y2 experience.
December 8, 2017
Alumnus Mario M. experienced many challenges in his freshman year of college, including a financial aid scare. He reflects on what supports he leaned on to not only make it through, but to succeed in college. Here he shares the top lessons of from his Y3 experience.
December 8, 2017
Celinette V. doesn’t hesitate to admit that she brought a lot of attitude to the OneGoal classroom in her first year of the program. But as her Program Director earned her trust, she found a mentor who helped her rethink her future. Here she shares the top lessons from her Y1 experience.