Emerge is a student-driven program dedicated to developing community and building young leaders through existing resources and collaborative partnerships. Students in Emerge will design and implement projects that have a positive impact on the community and they will attend monthly workshops to develop their own leadership capabilities.
Emerge is a program for sophomores at ETHS. Students must apply in the SPRING of their FRESHMAN YEAR to be considered.
Emerge has two main components:
(1) Community projects are designed and implemented by groups of Emerge students. Each group will partner with a local school or community organization to receive guidance, information, and resources as they develop their projects. Past projects include The HUB, environmental initiatives, STEM programs for elementary students, the WitherBell Forum, and more.
(2) Monthly workshops where sophomores learn skills to become effective leaders in their school and community as well as guidance and instruction on their projects. Workshops are led by the Community Service Office, Northwestern University students, and ETHS juniors.
Throughout the program, participants will have the opportunity to:
● Meet key decision-makers in Evanston and ETHS
● Collaborate with local organizations and other passionate sophomore students
● Learn practical strategies for making change
Specifics & Time Commitment:
There is NO cost to participate. We provide dinner for students at each workshop and a t-shirt.
Attendance is mandatory for all Emerge activities:
1. Meet & Greet
— September: A one-hour event for students and parents in September. Facilitators and staff explain the details of the program, introduce program leaders, answer questions, and do an activity.
2. Field Trip/Retreat
— September: Learn more about issues impacting our city and school through conversations with community leaders, school leaders, and experts in their fields. Students decide on the key issues they want to work on throughout the year. Past speakers include the Evanston mayor, ETHS superintendent, ETHS principal, Northwestern University president, Evanston Police Department, City of Evanston officials, activists, and student leaders.
3. Leadership Workshops
— October-April: (students may miss one of the seven workshops IF approved by the Community Service Office in advance) The essence of the program is a series of leadership workshops held monthly on select Tuesday evenings from 6:15pm-9pm at ETHS. ETHS juniors and Northwestern University students facilitate interactive workshop activities and group work focusing on the following themes:
● Defining Leadership
● Communication and Advocacy
● Diversity and Inclusion
● Assets and Organization
● Project Planning and Group Dynamics
● Applying Leadership
● Presentation Skills
4. Community-Based Project Teams
— October-May: (meetings scheduled during AM support, after school OR on weekends according to students’ availability) Each participant will work on a community project with 4-5 other Emerge students and with the assistance of ETHS student facilitators (juniors). The themes of the projects are chosen by the students with the goal of positively impacting the Evanston/ETHS community. Each project team partners with a community or school organization to design and implement a project. Teams will meet 2-3 per month with their group outside of the workshops and once per month with the Community Service Office to check in.
5. Final Presentations
— May: Students present their group project at Final Presentations in May. Parents, community members, school leaders, partners, former Emerge participants, and other guests are invited to the final presentations to learn about the impact of the projects.
Important note: Many students with other commitments (such as student-athletes, performing artists, etc.) ARE able to manage the time commitment for Emerge. However, if you are on a team or involved in an activity that also has strict attendance and meets on most Tuesday nights after 6:00pm, you probably can’t do both the activity and Emerge. Contact the Community Service Office with questions about how this might work for your individual situation.