Our Ascend Team Leaders (ATLs) are Ascend Alumni who have been hand-selected and intensively trained in coaching, leadership, and academic support.
I chose Ascend because it sounded like it incorporated an in-person community. . . and had much more of a life application emphasis than other programs. Connecting with people from around the country gave me a much higher motivation and encouragement than I would have otherwise. Also the leadership courses had a ton of impactful reading and discussing it with the others was very thought provoking and developed how I see and move in the world.
While each student in Ascend is part of (and regularly interacts with) the broader student community, they also have the opportunity to develop friendships and hone their professional skills with a smaller group of students — their Ascend Semester Team. This team structure provides an introduction to accountability and action, team dynamics (students will continue working with various teams throughout their lives), and influence and leadership.
Each Team of approximately ten students is led by an intentionally selected and intensively trained student leader or alumni. While student conversations happen almost daily on the Ascend Slack platform, these teams also meet online every month to discuss what they’ve learned from their field expert webinars, encourage each other in both school and life, and stay accountable for their goals. In addition, teams participate in a series of fun challenges throughout the course of the semester and have the chance to complete group projects as well.
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