“You don’t have to write rules about how to make communities better, you just have to understand.” - Joe Crookham, founder UCU
WHAT IS UCU? Understanding Community Understanding is a community improvement challenge initiated by Joe Crookham and General Franks during the 2018 Four Star program.
PURPOSE: To create awareness of community issues and possible solutions in our future leaders.
HOW IT WORKS: During our initial interviews with each student, we ask them to identify issues in their schools and communities that are having a negative impact on them, their school and their community. This program is aimed at identifying issues, getting perspectives, asking questions and developing understanding of issues we face in our communities. Throughout the week at Four Star Leadership, we tie attendee growth as leaders to thoughts about how to take newly acquired leadership skills and confidence back into schools and communities, identify community issues and problems, and develop action plans and program solutions involving community participation.
Students are encouraged to consider social media approaches, team building and collaboration with peers in their schools and communities to share ideas. We support students who participate in UCU through project development support.
Challenge Incentives: Scholarship incentives are offered to Four Star Leadership students who participate in the UCU Challenge, submit action plans and follow through that result in the greatest positive impact.
Challenge Rules: 1. Students must participate in Four Star Leadership and submit their applications to participate in the challenge according to deadlines. The application must include: descriptions of the issues participants intend to address, results hoped to achieve, an outline of the action plan to achieve the desired results along with milestones, (i.e. actions to take and when), a statement of metrics to measure effectiveness, and consideration of potential team members to support the plan.
2. Completion of an interim report with details of project progress submitted by the stated deadline. Feedback on interim reports will be provided to participants.
3. A final report, submitted by the stated deadline, which should describe:
What the project has achieved.
What lessons were learned.
The plan to sustain successes and overcome shortfalls. (i.e. plan for achievement sustainability).
Plans to share program with other individuals, schools and communities.
Final reports and plans to sustain and share programs will be evaluated by members of the Leadership Institute. Scholarships will be awarded as follows: 1st place $5,000 2nd place $2,500 3rd place $1,500