TeenSHARP has been helping under-resourced teens in the area prepare for college for over a decade. Founded in Camden, New Jersey, in 2009 by husband and wife team Tatiana Poladko and Atnre Alleyne, the extracurricular program for “Successful, High-Achieving, and Reaching Potential” teens has been headquartered in Wilmington’s Community Education Building (CEB) since 2015.
The CEB, like other educational campuses, is currently closed, potentially leaving the current cohort of college-bound teens, most of whom are Black or Latinx, cut off from the program. On top of high school closures that will likely extend through the end of the school year, the risk of a widening education gap during this time is real.
To prevent that, TeenSHARP created the Cyber SPARK Program for its current scholars.
“We designed the Cyber SPARK Program to engage our scholars in structured learning during the week,” said Poladko via email. “The program seeks to expose students to new and exciting content, rekindle students’ love for learning and exploration, foster their critical thinking, and continue to cultivate intellectualism in our young people.”
A pool of K-12 and college instructors will teach college-level classes via Zoom, including:
- Telling Stories with Statistics
- Creative Writing and Literary Analysis
- Mathematics of Brain Teasers
- Introduction to Sociology
- International Business
- Introduction to Global Politics
- Fundamentals of Day Trading
- The Promise and Politics of Public Education
- College Admissions 101
“We know that we will be severely limited, if not neutralized, in our ability to deliver on our promises, unless we stand in the gap and create a meaningful intellectually rich academic experience for the students during this crisis,” Poladko said.
To apply to become a future TeenSHARP scholar, fill out an online application.