The Minority Scholars Program (MSP) held their annual retreat on the Feb. 25 at Northwood with students from all MSP chapters across the county in attendance. Members had the opportunity to connect with one another through leadership workshops.
The Minority Scholars Program is a student-led, student-based, and student-driven program, aimed at closing the achievement gap. Five key initiatives are employed throughout all school programs: community outreach, peer-to-peer tutoring, mentoring programs, college visits and a speaker series.
The key initiatives and all other MSP efforts are aimed at positively changing the various school cultures such that success and achievement are no longer predictable by race, class, ethnicity and gender. Although the club was formed about 10 years ago, the club was brought to Wootton about eight years ago. “I hope MSP serves as an outlet for all students, not even just minority students that have a network and a feeling of familiarity among students who share the same aspirations as them with no judgement,” senior and president Stephanie Botchway said.
During the start of the retreat, Northwood principal Mildred Charley-Greene delivered an induction greeting all the members. A member of the first MSP club spoke and told his story about how MSP affected his high school career. The members of the founding MSP club had a large impact in the community through protests in the district court. Additionally, the alumni member told his story about how MSP helped him get into college and later led to his accomplishments.
Students were later separated into groups and were encouraged to participate in discussions on a variety of topics. Throughout the retreat members were able to take valuable skills and learned to apply them in their daily lives. “I took a lot from the retreat. I learned that you have to speak on something that you don’t necessarily agree with and that reaching out to your community is so important. We should learn to speak out and fight for change,” sophomore Olivia Nzang said.
After getting in groups, the retreat featured a two-part talent show in which students involved in the MSP program performed. The performances included dancing, singing, poetry and the playing of the piano. The crowd that filled up the Northwood auditorium was electric during the talent show, getting hyped up during the performances.