Spectrum Academy Peer Community Village is currently just a dream...
Earning a secondary teaching certificate from UoPhx I had to fulfill two years teaching in my degree field, business, in order to be fully certified. While looking for a business opening, I taught at two inner city schools including a short stint in English and two years in the exceptional student program, had full charge of two charter high schools and served as a science and math teacher at a residential treatment center charter school. I was never able to land a business position, but with a little help, I wrote a business plan for what I found missing in an educational system that could use some serious help.
Ambassador Zen Benefiel
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Zen Benefiel, ma, mba
An overview of our concept and methodology...
Restoring cultural pride, personal hope and inspiration for living.
Vision: Spectrum Academy leads learning and living communities in assisting ‘at-risk’ youths to heal their emotional, intellectual, physical, and spiritual wounds which create profound and positive changes in our youth population.
Spectrum Academy is a model peer-community that helps youth find restored hope and success in their lives through holistic education reform. A peer-community is a community based on shared support, giving and receiving help founded on key principles of respect, shared responsibility, and mutual agreement of what is helpful.
It is imperative that we begin in Arizona, where per capita student dollars are the lowest in the nation despite it being one of the highest growth rates in the nation.
Spectrum Academy uses a holistic approach to education, through providing a fun-to-learn-in space where youth can heal their emotional wounds and learn positive habits. Even science has proven how all things are connected, which has been known by Indigenous peoples for centuries. So why aren't we using more of this knowledge now?
Mission: Provide an alternative state-of-the-art holistic educational and living environment for youth 14 - 21 using proven programs that result in healthy and productive young adults who contribute to society.
At-risk youth find it hard to make sense of their world. Some feel they are being drugged (by their parents and schools) so adults can deal with them. Others lives are impoverished from a lack of parental presence yet they are supposed to know how to live appropriately.
The latter often end up on the streets, in group homes, incarcerated, or worse. What kind of a message are we giving them? We feel we have an answer to help change the pattern of abuse. We've done extensive research and have relative experience from the campus and classrooms of several districts and charter schools already.
Spectrum Academy combines a charter school, residential treatment component, and a community technology/data center within a living environment to empower youth to change their direction toward success. A peer community council engages the drive to discovery of how to live and work together in harmony.
Depression is the number one factor that keeps youth from learning, so they need help with managing emotions and understanding human behavior. Once they are available to learn, the school lessons and staff assist their growth and understanding of being part of a healthy community.
Holistic education is concerned with the connectedness of all things and nurtures this understanding in youth, providing a path to a healthy and productive lifestyle. Traditional educational frameworks are like slow-moving dinosaurs in the need for changing our educational delivery systems. Spectrum Academy provides a solid yet flexible framework to manage the challenging and changing needs with style and grace.
Sustainability is achieved through the synergistic union of a community technology center, subscription-based Web services, cottage industry development, and community shops. The energy required will be provided by leading green technology incorporated in the curriculum and construction build out.
As the public awareness of Spectrum Academy grows, the subscription and e-commerce features of the data center provide the financial resources for Spectrum Academy. Cottage industry development and strategically placed storefronts on the perimeter of the site creates the personal and professional bridge for youth and their community. Community connections create sustainable successes. This ‘sustainability’ piece is an addition to previous educational models.
Alliances and partnerships with industry leaders bridge 21st Century learners with 21st Century technology, assisting youth to evolve and facilitate a healthier global culture. This proactive approach to addressing the growing concern of a healthy society creates utility in applying best practices across multiple disciplines, maximizing funds and building a learning organization that can meet shifting demands in service delivery and community support. We talk about building a better world. This is a step. Will you help?
A recent needs assessment performed by a collaborative of Scottsdale, Tempe, Mesa, Chandler, and Gilbert, Arizona city governments found that the public holds youth and family programs as a top priority in service delivery. Strategic civil planning community development initiatives need to be in place to make this happen.
This can only happen with your help in spreading the word and garnering support.
Be The Dream… Think about that phrase for a moment. Let it sink in. No doubt it brings up all kinds of good feelings and images. Possibly you allowed yourself to escape into a nice fantasy for a moment, maybe including your own children, grandchildren, and extended family.
Some children do not even know they can dream….yet. Spectrum Academy can assist many challenged youth to new heights in self-esteem, academic and post-secondary or professional success, and even achieving new dreams.
Beyond our own skills and talent, this solution comes from a much deeper place within us all. You may find congruence in your own considerations of this dilemma and its resolution using state-of-the-art technology across the spectrum of needs.
Our administrative, construction, educational, fiscal and management contacts grow daily. We need your help to put them in play. Our activities are completely congruent with best practices, completely transparent and transcendent of current models.
ęSpectrum Academy, Inc. 2013
Contact: Zen Benefiel - 480-633-7179