Program Elements & Design

Through the use of a corporate theme, branding, boardroom setting, creative teaching strategies and curriculum the Powerhouse operates as a ‘safe place’ for youth or ‘Power-Broker’s’ to transact or trade the unwanted emotional, mental and social baggage in their lives for valuable and useful commodities or skills that will enable them to be successful in the classroom, work, family and collegiate environment.

Each student’s work area or ‘office’ is set up in an executive style with a Corporate Board Manual containing curriculum, desk pad, pencil cup, business card holder and name plate. To increase each student’s self-esteem and self-worth as well as to enable them to envision a brighter future for themselves, students are referred to as “Dr. & their last name.”

Reporting to the Powerhouse Fortune 500 Company constitutes coming to work each day. A Powerbrokers job is to produce the desired work distributed by the Senior Vice-President each day. Powerbrokers ‘pull stock’ or a current world event each morning via the internet and discuss it in the’ boardroom.’ This is to assist him in becoming knowledgeable of his world surroundings and enable him to converse in small talk with a potential interviewer. A Powerbroker’s major points derive from his performance on the Read On software, which tests, locates and develops a reading curriculum specifically for him based upon his reading level. Students are evaluated as if they are working for an actual company and rewarded with a Biweekly Incentive Pay Package which was designed by them, the Board of Directors. Through utilization of these methods Powerbrokers gain the discipline, communication, classroom and job related skills, and techniques that are needed and required to reenter high school, Adult Education or college classroom; obtain and maintain a job and successful career or become successful contributors to their families and community.

The program works in collaboration with the Lancaster County School District to reduce the dropout rate of African-American males who continue to drop out at a significantly higher rate than other student populations. It also collaborates with Lancaster County Adult Education, Department of Juvenile Justice, Lancaster County Probation & Parole, Communities in Schools Youth Build Program, Department of Social Services, York Technical College & Lancaster Fatherhood Project.