With the help of local and state sponsors, 9th-grade students from Cullman High School are beginning the Citizen Promise Program this year. Students will learn valuable life skills, gain unique experiences, increase their financial literacy, and take action in their community to ensure they are ready for life after high school.
At the kickoff rally held this Thursday, students were introduced to the program and made the personal decision, or “promise,” to take advantage of all that this program offers throughout their high school career. Students and guests heard from motivational speaker Mr. David Page who challenged them to see the greatness in themselves.
At the rally, each student was given two coins: one displaying “Yes” on both sides and the other “No.” Then, they were challenged to make the personal decision to begin planning now for their futures by discarding one coin on their way out of the rally and into their school. The coin they kept with them represents the decision they each made and will be kept with them as reminders of the commitment they have made to themselves, their community, and their future.
The high school program is a continuation of the Super Citizen and American Character programs which teach important lessons of civics, character, and citizenship at the elementary and middle school levels. Through Citizen Promise, students will hear from guest speakers, community mentors, and professional experts on topics designed to help them explore and prepare for their own futures. On at least a monthly basis, the Liberty Learning Foundation will come into their classrooms to present a relevant life, citizen, or career topic.
Along the way, students will maintain journals of their learning and complete citizen actions which may involve learning about or participating in community-oriented activities. They will develop and maintain a digital portfolio that can help them showcase their experience when applying for jobs or colleges. At the end of their senior year, they will be eligible to win one of several Citizen Promise Grants which can be used to help jumpstart their next steps: whether that is purchasing tools for a new trade, a down payment on reliable transportation, or paying for college. The more Citizen Actions they have over their high school career, the more likely they are to earn one of the prized Citizen Promise Grants.
In Cullman, the program will follow these 9th graders every year and will also be offered to classes that follow. There will be opportunities for community volunteers to serve as classroom speakers, mentors, and helpers each year. This week’s kickoff rally officially makes Cullman High School the second school in the state of Alabama selected to implement the Citizen Promise program and it is all because of the community-based leadership and support from businesses, elected officials, and organizations that believe investing in these students mean they are investing in the future of Cullman and the State of Alabama!
Were you at the event? See the photo gallery below to find yourself, to revisit the magic or watch it unfold for the first