AACC_MinMaleRetProgs: Highline Community College - Heritage LeadershipCamp

Program Name

Highline Community College - Heritage LeadershipCamp 


Rashad Norris 

First Name


Last Name


Contact Title

Outreach Director 


Highline Community College  


P.O. Box 98000 

Address 2



Des Moines 









Phone Ext




Program URL


Program Description

The Heritage Leadership Camp exists to empower young men of color to achieve academic success by providing life skills information and modeling culturally relevant leadership.

To improve student attendance, help students raise their G.P.A, and reduce the number of discipline referrals.

School contacts select male students of color in grades 6-8 to participate

Students are “on the brink” of either success or failure by having one or more of the following characteristics:
• GPA in the C- to C+ range
• Less than perfect attendance or a number of unexcused absences from school
• Discipline referrals for unacceptable behaviors

Students and their families are informed about the project, it’s rationale, the Heritage Leadership Camp activities, the expectations of the students and the desired outcomes for the students

Students participate in three, all-day leadership camps during the school year at an off-campus location

All interactions between mentors and students are characterized by the honoring of students by mentors and respect of mentors by students

Activities and the schedule of the day are organized and purposeful.  A series of intense sessions, that build upon the content of previous sessions, over the course of a school year with a cohort of students can lead to behavioral change.

The atmosphere of honor and respect underscores the serious nature of the leadership camps and creates the tone that the students are not in trouble as failures, but have great potential that can be tapped.

Community Mentors of color share their own experiences and challenges to build credibility and add realism to the activities

The organized tone of the day underscores the purposefulness and intentionality of the project and it’s expectations for students

Program Services

Mentoring; Leadership and Professional Development 

Program Start Month


Program Start Year


Current Number of Students


Program Initiated

The program was created in 2006 after a year of planning and collaboration between Superintendent Tom Murphy, a multicultural group of men and the district’s Family & Community Partnership Advocate. Now at the end of its third year, the program has been recognized by OSPI’s CISL office and a variety of community leaders as one of the state’s most promising practices in the area of student-focused family and community partnerships.

Program Funded

Through the Federal Way School District Family & Community Partnership Advocate Program which has collaborated with Highline Community College in making the college the venue where the students will attend the three full-day mentor sessions.

College President and Administrators Involvement

Highline Community College President, Dr. Jack Bermingham along with now retired Federal Way School District Superintendent Tom Murphy were and continue to be active in making sure the HLC program continues with its purpose and plan for the young men that attend the camp each year.

Program Success Story

"One of the main things that I have learned at Heritage Leadership Camp was education is foundation, as well as being disciplined because the only reason why they give you a full scholarship to college is if you are disciplined enough to follow the expectations of their college".
                              7th Grader HLC Student
Created at 5/9/2011 6:42 PM  by System Account 
Last modified at 5/10/2011 2:31 PM  by KEVIN CHRISTIAN 
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