JANRAH is a play on the word genre - a group or category of artistic composition, marked by a distinctive STYLE. Often people are defined by others as being a part of a particular genre. In this program however, our goal is to support YOU in defining your own JANRAH!
The JANRAH Program serves as the sister program of the Black Male Youth Academy (BMYA), focusing on the empowerment of young women of color at Morningside High School in Inglewood, and View Park Accelerated Charter in South Los Angeles. The goal of JANRAH is to support girls of color in urban communities, as they explore their educational goals and future opportunities. We encourage students to dream big, and then provide the support, mentorship, and experiences needed to begin moving from dreams to reality.
JANRAH began in 2011, with the Summer Studio, a 6-week college preparation program housed on the UCLA campus; and we have since grown to include a number of programs and services including the Saturday Studio (our year-long program), College Tours, the Empowerment Circle, and “the J News,” an informational college prep newsletter. Our first cohort, “The Trailblazers,” are engaged in an intensive and innovative program focused on the JANRAH pillars of education, entrepreneurship, and empowerment through art. We believe that young women are empowered when their educational options are limitless; and when they are surrounded by a caring group of mentors to offer guidance and support. We also believe that young women play a critical role in uplifting and rebuilding the communities in which they come from; and we have made it our goal to mentor and guide young women of color as they develop into our future leaders.
Why Girls of Color?
The JANRAH program began as a direct response to the growing realization that we need to better serve our girls. Unfortunately, with important and pressing issues facing boys of color, the needs of girls of color are sometimes overlooked. Yes, young women of color are outperforming their male counterparts in high school completion, college enrollment, and college graduation, but Black and Latina girls and women face a number of challenges, such as poor schooling conditions, high poverty rates, and low wages that can limit their opportunities and experiences. The goal of the JANRAH program is to help remove some of these limits by SUPPORTING, STRENGTHENING, and EMPOWERING young women of color and their communities, while building a sisterhood of empathetic, daring, bold, empowered, and socially conscious leaders!
The JANRAH Program
Since last summer, the program has grown tremendously, encompassing a rapidly expanding list of programs and services. We currently serve 10th and 11th grade students through the following:
JANRAH Summer Studio – Open to rising 10th and 11th grade students, the JANRAH Summer Studio is an introductory, 6-week summer program housed on the UCLA campus. We use a research and project-based learning approach to develop JANRAH students as critical intakers of knowledge, socially conscious, community-minded individuals, while also providing an opportunity to gain real-world experience, and early exposure to a college environment. During the Summer Studio, students participate in three classes, including: 1) the College Prep Bootcamp, an introductory college preparation course, 2) Boss Lady, our entrepreneurial development class, and 3) the Power of the Pen, a writing course focused on teaching the mechanical and technical aspects of writing, while providing a space for students to express their VOICE in a world where it is sometimes lost. A list of the topics covered, includes:
JANRAH Magazine for Young Women of Color – This summer, JANRAH students created the first issue of the JANRAH Magazine for Young Women of Color. In five short weeks, students learned every aspect of writing for, and creating a magazine. This intensive project allowed students to engage difficult subjects, such as teen drug abuse, and explore important topics, such as fears about going to college, while conducting background research and interviews to complete their articles. Essentially the JANRAH Magazine is a space where young women of color can explore issues that are important to them and have their voices heard!
JANRAH Saturday Studio 2011 – 2012 - The JANRAH Saturday Studio is an extension of the summer program. Using a project-based learning approach JANRAH students continue their educational and entrepreneurial development through monthly workshops. Each semester, students participate in a real-world learning opportunity where they coordinate every aspect of a project that provides service to the organization or the community. For example, this semester, JANRAH students are currently engaged as executives coordinating their very own fundraiser. Students are serving as Project Managers, Media & Design Coordinators, and Marketing Coordinators; engaging in strategic planning sessions, and making critical decisions to ensure a successful event. They are building skills, gaining experience, and raising money for the 2012 summer program and college tour.
Empowerment Circle - Beginning in March 2012, the JANRAH program will grow to include the Empowerment Circle. The Empowerment Circle is a sacred place where women from the community, representing current college students, entrepreneurs, artists, and community leaders, come to share advice and wisdom with JANRAH students. In this space, JANRAH students are encouraged to discuss important issues in a safe and supportive environment. The Empowerment Circle provides a unique opportunity for youth to engage with successful women of color from the community. Empowerment Circle topics include, but are not limited to, exploring college life, beauty, self-esteem, and much more.
College Tour - Early exposure to a college environment makes a tremendous difference in whether a student will choose to pursue higher education, particularly for first generation college students. Therefore, college visits are a key component of the JANRAH program. In addition to attending classes on the UCLA campus, JANRAH students will visit more than 10 colleges and universities during the 2011-2012 academic year; ensuring both exposure to higher education and an opportunity to expand their college options.
We recognize that young women of color are critical to uplifting and rebuilding urban communities. While our communities face numerous challenges, the JANRAH program is focused on developing youth as caring, compassionate, socially conscious, and community minded leaders. This is our work. This is our passion. Using an innovative, creative, and fun approach, we push the boundaries of traditional learning, empowering our students with knowledge, experience, and the opportunity to be the decision makers. JANRAH empowers students in exploring their dreams, finding their voice, and claiming their futures; as the next generation of BOLD, FIERCE, and EMPOWERED leaders.