About the Program
FasTrac is a local organization the provides wrap-around, multi-systemic services that help youth grades 9-12 connect to their own dreams and goals through support within their community. FasTrac supports these students by establishing resources and opportunities to assist them with creating their own future. Recognizing the power of these connections, the first students involved named this organization FasTrac.
By listening to each student’s wants and needs, we can focus on what motivates them in their attitudes about education. FasTrac strives to help students create a successful course of action that will put them on the right path toward their future.
FasTrac serves students from all ethnic backgrounds and is open to all who wish to apply. Support extends not only to the student but also to his or her entire family.
The story of FasTrac
FasTrac originally started Dec 3, 2007 after a very tough trimester at City High. In a discussion with a group of students, many said that they felt they were being grouped with other students who had made destructive decisions and were judged guilty by association. After brainstorming with these students and their parents, we decided to create a program to acknowledge and support those students who wanted to make good decisions. Henri Harper and the students set out to find out the strengths and interests of these students, as well as areas for improvement, and use those to create a focused, student-driven program that would support their academic work.
As we began to create FasTrac, we realized that what was missing was something to motivate our group of students. We found that by listening to each student’s wants and needs, we were able to determine what would motivate them to change their attitude about education. We learned that student motivation increased when they determined their own path to success, instead of following the path adults had set for them. We learned that students need to believe in themselves and know they can be successful on their own terms.
We also realized that supporting the students wasn’t enough. FasTrac is only one piece of the puzzle. We also wanted to make sure the families knew how to support their student’s efforts. This support is what sustains students long-term, especially once they have graduated and moved on to college or a career.
In the first year of FasTrac, back in 2007, we saw increases increases in student GPAs, decreases in school absenteeism and disciplinary actions, and increases in the number of students applying to and enrolling in college.
More importantly, we saw a complete change in attitude in our FasTrac students. Many of these students had previously not seen college as an option for them or understood the importance of working hard for their education. This changed outlook is what we consider our biggest success.
Civil Rights & HBCU Tour:
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