Raising Up a New Generation of Leaders

Posted on by COYFC

by Scott Arnold
YFC Executive Director


Jesus commanded us at the end of the parable of the Good Samaritan to "go and do likewise." This idea of social good alongside spiritual ministry is deeply embedded in the New Testament. That’s why YFC has developed a Holistic Model of ministry where we serve teens in all areas of life: spiritual and moral literacy; educational success; basic health and safety; civic literacy; economic literacy.

COFYC has been working in the Franklinton neighborhood since 1985. One of the struggles we saw early on was the educational deficits faced by students. From our research we learned that less than 20% of students graduated each year, and only about 25% were passing the 6th grade proficiency test in a timely manner. 

One of our goals is to raise up leaders for the next generation. How can we do that if students don’t have the quality education opportunities to learn reading and reasoning skills?

To address these educational challenges, we partnered with Mission Columbus to begin a tutoring program for elementary students that exists to this day. But we knew we needed to help older teens as well. When we expanded the space at the City Life Center in 2014, we decided to partner with a charter high school to help elevate the educational offerings of the neighborhood.

During these first six years we’ve seen marked changes in the neighborhood in the attitude toward the priority of education. Prior to the launch of this initiative, it was common for youth and their families to see completion of a High School diploma as unnecessary and even evidence that someone was a sellout from hard core Franklinton culture.  Today, we are not seeing this attitude nearly at the level it once existed.  Both students and families generally agree that succeeding educationally is an important value.  Further, we see more and more students seeking college or trade school training after completing high school. 

Originally we partnered with Franklinton Preparatory Academy. After six and a half years of partnership FPA closed its doors on June 30, 2020. While the FPA leadership team launched a new school initiative, the YFC Board and Leadership chose to make a fresh start with a newly formed charter school named Franklinton Prep High School (FPHS). FPHS is a hybrid approach that employs a management group, Oakmont Education, that currently operates 13 other schools in Ohio. Oakmont is considered one of the best operators of dropout recovery schools in Ohio. These schools specialize in serving youth who are behind academically or have stopped attending and are now trying to reengage. All of their schools rate at “meets expectations” or “exceeds expectations” in the Ohio rating system. 

Classes at FPHS began in August. YFC staff who have engaged the leadership team for Oakmont (FPHS) have concluded that this is a great fit to partner with us in Franklinton. We look forward to how God will use this partnership to help our neighborhood. For more information check out the FPHS web site at www.franklintonprephigh.org.

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