Dance – The Next Generation, a community engagement program developed by the Sarasota Ballet, is partnering with the Education Foundation of Sarasota County and PLANit Sarasota to help prepare underserved and aspiring dancers for life after high school.
Dance – The Next Generation provides dance instruction to underserved students for 10 years, tuition-free. In addition to learning many forms of dance, students access academic support and mentoring. Students who complete the 10-year program and graduate college are eligible for individualized financial assistance from local colleges and universities.
Throughout the academic year, middle and high school students in this program will visit the Education Foundation’s community resource center, LaunchPad4U, located in the Rosemary District near downtown Sarasota. These students will work one on one with Student Success Coaches to identify interests and strengths and map those to plans for college and career. In addition to individualized advising, these students will attend workshops and open houses on financial aid, ACT/SAT preparation, and other pertinent topics.
“The Student Success Coaches… are a key element in assisting our Dance – The Next Generation high schoolers as they navigate their individual choices,” said Doricha Sales, Program Director Dance for All. “Having someone… able to understand their goals while considering their circumstances is highly beneficial.”
Of the outcome of this partnership, Sales added, “I hope our students gain confidence in determining their educated choices for their future goals, getting closer to making dreams into successes.”
“This is such a great opportunity to support those students who need it most,” said Thomas Williams, director of PLANit Sarasota. “It reflects the power of community partners working together to help students thrive.”