Memphis Model

The Memphis Model” — a unique partnership of a major university, a large urban school district and a community foundation. The partners are the University of Memphis (24,000 student), Shelby County School System (110,000 students) and Peer Power.  It also combines market-based approaches with youth empowerment and educational practices. Peer Power, which targets schools in neighborhoods of deep poverty, It began in two schools and has grown to involve students from across the city and in neighboring Mississippi. More than 12,000 students have taken part.

The results have been impressive. In one school, pass rates on standardized tests rose from 37 percent to 91 percent for students in the program. Such gains, officials say, are consistent across the program’s locations. ACT scores for participants in the program have increased by an average of 3.3 points. At East High, whose middle school feeders are among state’s lowest performers, Peer Power participants scored in the 55th percentile among all Tennessee students in Biology; nonparticipants at East scored in the 13th percentile. Likewise, in English II Peer Power scholars ranked in the 57th percentile statewide, compared to the 12th percentile for nonparticipants.

I must always work harder than others.

Tutor

Kenishia L. Guy

When adolescents are made aware of their options, they are more likely to strive for success in all their endeavors.  Throughout the five years of my tenure with Peer Power, I have realized that this program has given me the liberty to meet and tutor at-risk youth and gain insight about their outlook on life, emotions, and feelings.  I have had the privilege of becoming involved in the lives of these students as an adult figure and watch them develop and become assets to the community.  I am afforded the pleasure of educating the youth of our community about the positive pathways of life that are available to them in their mission to become successful adults.  Because of this program, I am empowered to become a productive, global citizen in the twenty-first century.