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.

Life is a competitive sport.

Tutor

Robert C. Buggs

Peer Power is an enrichment program that helps students succeed both inside and outside the classroom.  This description alone does not serve the program justice because it does so much more.  Peer Power has taught me many life lessons and opened so many doors for me.  Peer Power allows individuals, both adults and adolescents, to partake in activities that he or she may not be accustomed to.  The program aided me in knowing that there is so much in the world to learn, see, and experience.  Over these past six years, the program has bought me laughter, knowledge, and most importantly, comradery.  I enjoy seeing the faces of the program both in the office and outside as well.  These faces that are seen throughout the program are not just my coworkers, but my Peer Power Family.  It happened without me knowing it and I would not change it for the world.  Peer Power is the home where I learned that nothing is impossible, the home where dreams come true, and the home where my heart is.  Although I am out working, earning degrees, and living life, I will never forget my beginning with Peer Power.  As I grow, Peer Power grows, as I achieve, Peer Power achieves, and as I live, Peer Power lives through me.