In September 2011, Youth Build Newark (YBN) launched the Newark Leadership Academy (NLA or “the Academy”), an alternative vocational high school to serve over-aged, under-credited 16 to 20 year-old youth and young adults. NLA draws upon YBN’s proven youth development model for at-risk, high risk, and/or out-of-school youth achievement and offers students a customized academic setting augmented by support services. In addition, it offers specific career development learning experiences for students that makes school relevant to their daily lives.
The Academy does not compete with the traditional public school system. Instead, it partners with the Newark Public Schools (NPS) to recover students who are at risk of dropping out or already have. The model is designed for disconnected students. It allows for flexibility in curriculum design, credit attainment/proficiency assessment, and address the socio-emotional supports that they frequently need.