City University School of Independence (City Independent), an entity of the educational arm of The Influence1 Foundation, proposes to meet the need of public education as well as the demand for a high school committed to leadership development and college preparation. Created as a small college preparatory high school with an emphasis on the educating independent thinkers and developing leaders, City Independent will serve to benefit Memphis and its community of students on multiple levels.
In addition to developing life-long scholars, the school will be operated as a Center of Excellence for Student Development in order to support replication and off-chute efforts that may be waged by the district and other schools (local, regional and national). This effort is enhanced by its collaboration with its connecting school, City University School of Liberal Arts. This union will further ensure the efforts to build a curricular foundation to better prepare its scholars for transition into post secondary education and later leadership positions for their community and our City.
By this means, the quality of education offered at City Independent will encompass and aid to transcend the strategic plan and objectives of the local transitioning school system. Finally, the school will provide parents and students a choice, while ensuring more students—particularly African-Americans, matriculate into college and later gain access to leadership post that will shape the future of this City.
The need for such an option is apparent as many students cannot dream, nor dare to achieve to their full potential in a larger learning environment. Often in larger environments students fall prey to peer pressure to include developing a perceived need to conform to popular opinion and thinking; therefore, developing a greater desire to be accepted rather than think independently and develop as a leader. When provided the opportunity in supportive environments, students often take on challenging subjects as well as develop individually, rather than suppress their own personality and individuality as often is the case in larger educational settings.
City University School of Independence will serve a neglected population of students from low performing middle schools and high schools. City Independent will provide its scholars full access to a diverse offering of courses, coupled with a curriculum that enables and empowers young leaders with the abilities to achieve success in an academically rigorous environment and within a socially engaging community. This work will be supported by skilled teachers, administrators, counselors and trainers that understand students as developing leaders and the way they learn, both of which will kindle their academic interest by encouraging them to dream outside the box.
Students who enter City University School of Independence in the ninth grade and remain until the end of their twelfth grade year will establish a strong foundation in core academic subjects such as reading/language arts, mathematics, social studies, the sciences, foreign language, technology, the arts, citizenship and leadership, as well as, social and extracurricular activities.