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The “Rising Stars” Of Homewood Center

On July April 29, 2016 Changing Destinations: Journey To Excellence, Inc. entered into partnership with the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS). The partnership led by CDJTE includes representatives of its Power Force Empowerment Collaborative which provides student development programs to HCPSS middle and high school students at the Homewood Center.

Mary Schiller, Partnerships Office Manager stated: “We appreciate Changing Destinations willingness to provide in-school mentoring aligned with our efforts to ensure that our students are college and career ready upon graduation from high school. Our Homewood students will benefit from the targeted assistance offered by Changing Destinations.”

Power Force Empowerment Collaborative (PFEC) is designed to support the Howard County Public School System in its efforts to close the achievement gap. PFEC Consists of non-profit organizations and businesses with a wealth of resources and more than fifteen years of combined experience to ensure the sustainability of it programs.

The Homewood summer program offered students attending summer school an opportunity to participate in the Youth Engagement and Leadership Development program created by Dr. Cheryl West, President of Cadre Management Consulting and Training. The “Rising Stars” curriculum, in combination with a high impact philosophy and facilitation approach, served as the framework for engaging and guiding students through a self-development process designed to prepare youth for a future of excellence and success. Student engagement lessons included: Behavior and Motivation, Do You Know Yourself, Attitude is Everything, Goal Setting and Achieving Success. Rising Stars is an evidence-based curriculum that focuses on three critical elements that promote personal leadership, healthy behaviors, and the skills employers identify as essential.

The summer program also offered an entrepreneurial component led by business owner Felicia Stokes. Ms. stokes introduced students to the excitement of entrepreneurship by providing the basic building blocks students need to establish their own businesses. The students were inspired to dream beyond their limitations and develop a sense of pride in themselves, their families and their communities. Ms. Stokes shared from her unique position as a United States Army reservist who is also a Real Estate Agent and Contractor. Her story inspired one student to continue to pursue her dream to become a military nurse. Another student gained the confidence to believe he can own a profitable convenience store in his community.

This is the second year CDJTE opened its program to college interns looking for real-world experience and an opportunity to be mentored. Interns were required to attend an orientation and complete thirty-five hours of training before they were paired with Youth Development Facilitators in the summer program.

For more information about Changing Destinations: Journey To Excellence, Inc. and how you can get involved, please visit online:

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