The Liberty Partnerships Program (LPP) serves students within the Albany City School District who are at risk for dropping out of school due to risk factors they face in their homes, neighborhoods, peer groups, and/or schools. LPP provides these students with mentoring, tutoring, and college readiness activities. The program serves students within the CSDA and , predominantly, students from Albany High School. Interventions target student-level change, but the program staff interact with teachers and parents as needed. LPP also works in collaboration with the City of Albany’s Department of Youth and Workforce Services to provide high school students paid internships during a five week Summer Leadership Academy. The Leadership Academy emphasizes professional/career development, communication skills, computer skills, team building, and community service projects. According to the statewide Liberty Partnerships Executive Summary of 2010-2011, 1,104 LPP graduates (91%) later attended college, 81 LPP graduates (7%) entered the workforce or were seeking employment, 19 LPP graduates (2%) entered the armed services, and 9 LPP graduates (1%) entered a vocational school.
Sidra A. Chaudhary, Program Director
The Liberty Partnerships Program is currently collaborating with WMHT (PBS) American Graduate Project to raise awareness about the dropout crisis in our community. LPP has engaged with a number of organizations in the Albany community, as well as students regarding the vast number of challenges faced by youth and their families in our neighborhoods. Additionally, in collaboration with SUNY Albany’s School of Social Welfare, the Albany School District, and the Central Avenue Business Improvement District, LPP has implemented the Work Readiness Program for students between the ages of 16 and 24 within the district. Through the Work Readiness Program, LPP provides students with basic skills training, thinking skills, development of personal qualities, and other components necessary to prepare individuals for the workforce. Lastly, LPP will be collaborating with SUNY Albany’s School of Social Welfare, and SUNY Albany’s Center for Human Services Research to provide high school students in Albany with paid opportunities to develop knowledge of the challenges that are correlated with dropping out of school.