The School of Life Academy

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The School of Life (SOL)

Young Women’s Leadership Academy

The School of Life Academy (SOL) is a leadership program designed for young women ages 15-18. The purpose of the program is to instill young women with the knowledge, skills, qualities and self-confidence necessary to make good, smart, solid choices about now and in the future. Many of the topics we explore throughout the course of the program enable young women to develop a heightened sense of self-awareness and self-esteem. The development of these skills aid in formulating a more seamless, less traumatic transition from adolescence to young adulthood.

The workshop topics covered in the program include, but are not limited to:

  • Increasing Self-Awareness
  • Building Self-Esteem and Self-Confidence
  • Creating and Projecting a Positive Self-Image
  • Situational Etiquette and Decorum
  • Self-care and Health Maintenance
  • Assertiveness Training
  • Handling Anger and Other Strong Emotions Effectively
  • Developing Leadership Skills
  • Financial Literacy
  • Goal Setting and Acquisition
  • Time Management and Organization
  • Dressing  and Packaging Oneself for Success
  • Interviewing Skills and Public Speaking
  • Effective Communication Skills
  • Cultivating and Maintaining Healthy Relationships
  • Effective study and scholarship skills
  • Balancing School, Co-curricular Activities, Friendships and Family

An integral part of the SOL program experience is participating in the

“Girl Power” Retreat.

Check out the comments below and see what SOL graduates have said about the program:


15 Responses to “The School of Life Academy”
  1. Camoia Streater says:

    ok so, i was apart of SOL in the begining stages, at that point in my life i need SOL. It was an outlet for me, especailly when I was having personal problems. I knew that I could go to Ms. J for some advice. When I think back on me sitting in our group session, I remember some of the topics that we talked about. Atlot of people didn’t realize that just talking about a problem or situation helps a big deal. I can remember going on our first retreat. It was to the pochonos (spelled wrong I think). we had loads of fun, just talking about evryday life, bonding with others and getting to know ourselves, all of these things help later in life, I never told anyone this but SOL hepled me out a great deal, and it also helped me to communicate with others as well as learn how to appricate the fact that there are actually people out there who care about young women and really want to help EMPOWER them. So thanks Ms. J, SOL worked for me, maybe we can get SOL down here in GA. anything is possible!!!

  2. Stephanie Audain says:

    Like Camoia, I was part of the newly formed SOL program. It meant alot to me to get to know young women that I would not otherwise interact with (later on in life the lessons learned in giving our peers a chance to show who they are really came in handy). The affirmation technique/excercise stayed with me up until today. I still have my cards from the retreat, every now and again I re-read them when I am feeling a bit defeated to remind myself that it is alright to make mistakes or when I feel down. In the midst of learning from said mistakes, it’s nice to be reminded that people still view you as ‘thoughtful’, ‘intelligent’, and ‘patient’. It was a wonderful feeling to be around women who were not there to judge but rather lend a different perspective on life experiences. SoL was a wonderful staple in my life during HS.

  3. Gillian says:

    My experience as a SOL sister summed up in one word is “UNFORGETABLE”!!!!!! I joined when I was a sophomore. In school, as a group, we discuss numerous things we have experienced in Life. We spoke about the good, the bad, and the ugly. At times, we shared tears, other times we’d uncontrollably until our bellies would hurt us. SOL was the perfect place to learn about things in “LIFE”. We learned about things we were unaware of. We’d asked questions about things we were ashamed of seeking answers for. Most of the time we would share stories which we were excited to retelling. I personally became a member of SOL because I love life in general. I also love to make friends, interact with people, go on trips, and make people laugh. Sooooooooooooooooooooooooo, with that being said, if you feel like you need an outlet, more friends, a sense of direction in life, help with attaining your dreams, SOL is the place to be!
    Love, peace & pure happiness
    Gillian Fortune

  4. Kimberly LaCrette says:

    I became a part of the SOL program in my senior year of high school, and it’s definitely one of the main reasons why I’ll say to this day that of any time in my life, I would not mind repeating my senior year. It felt great to be a part of something, especially a small group where many of us became closer in that time.

    My absolute favorite experience during the SOL program was the retreat! Not only were the activities and the ladies absolutely fun, but it was a really cool learning experience. Being together for just a few days, I think I learned more about certain people that I would’ve learned about in all of the years we went to school together. It opened up my eyes to see others experiences in life as my own. When I say that, I mean some of the struggles that my fellow SOL members may have experienced, others including myself had similar experiences, and it felt comforting to know that no one really walks alone.

    Although I recently had a setback in my personal growth, it definitely did not mean that I could not get back on track. Some of those experiences that I learned of by my fellow SOL members taught me that it is possible to overcome obstacles, no matter how large or small. Remembering this showed me that we can lead by example, thus making us all leaders in a sense. Right here and now, I’m glad to say that I am back on track.

    Participating in the SOL program will increase overall self-awareness, which I think is very important especially for a young woman. One will aspire to be a better person overall in most (if not all) aspects of their life, especially with a leader like Ms. James who puts so much effort into this program and wants the best for those involved.

  5. Zaneta Wilson says:

    I’m not going to lie. The trip to the Poconos was definitely a drawing factor for me lol. But honestly, just spending time with and getting to know other girls who otherwise you wouldn’t have the opportunity to befriend was priceless. From the laughs, to the pranks, to the tear jerking moments; that’s something that we’ll always have, and a bond unlike any other.

  6. Becky Enarhevba says:

    Hey everyone!!! I was apart of the 05′ and 06′ SOL group. Can’t believe it’s been that long. SOL has been an integral part of my life even after graduating high school. Before SOL and meeting Ms. J and Momma James, I was very shy and kind of closed off to a lot of things in life. I felt as if no one had an understanding of who I was or what I’ve been through. After being a part of a unique group of young ladies, I realized we shared some of the same experiences and values.
    One thing that stuck with me the most from SOL was the Time Management program. Anyone who knows me knows that I had no sense of time whatsoever. I could barely be on time for late arrival in the morning. However, now I’m usually the first to arrive to work in the morning.
    Definitely, hands down, my favorite part of SOL was the retreat to the Poconos. It gave us time to bond and really get to know each other on a personal level. So if you want to go to the Pocono’s I strongly suggest you join SOL. Lol I’m just kidding, but I do suggest you participate in SOL because just like me you’ll gain 12+ sisters for life :-)

  7. Yalixa says:

    Being a part of a program like SOL was such an unknown experience to me when I initially joined during my high school days; I couldn’t really fathom what another school club could teach me about life. Honestly, I just didn’t see past joining another organization to put under the extracurricular activities section of my resume, which a number of my friends were also a part of, and my favorite high school English teacher advised. In turn, SOL’s impact was greater than a good time with friends and just “another school club”. I learned valuable lessons that my teenage mind didn’t grasp the importance of at the time. It was the first experience that introduced me to the idea of introspection: trying to understand who I am, how I operate as a person emotionally, and how I value myself—all things that I believe are critical to carry oneself throughout life. One of the most memorable experiences with SOL was the retreat to the Poconos where we participated in various fun activities that encouraged new friendships, empowerment, and self-realization. The SOL program is one that I recommend for any girl who is looking to learn life lessons, understand themselves, make new friends, and of course have a fun time!

  8. Joan says:

    Yay SOL sisters united once again!!! lol. I was privileged to be a member of the 05′ and 06′ group and I loved every meeting, discussion and outing. It was truly inspirational. I believe that at a point in my life where I was really trying to figure out who I was and what role I had to play in the confusing world, SOL pointed me in the right direction to figuring it all out. I learned the true meaning of inner beauty, and most importantly that it is okay to be myself. I love the sisters I made and I know that no matter what part of the world they relocate to or how much time has passed since we last spoke, we will always be SOL sisters. I think this program is truly empowering and I didn’t realize how great it was until my first SOL retreat! :))). It was awesome! From the intense group discussion (crying was theme) to the fun horse back riding and hilarious paint-balling, I enjoyed every moment of it. It was also wonderful having a teacher and friend to talk to. Ms. James is an great leader and beautiful both inside and out and I will never forget how she impacted my life through SOL. So ladies if you want an older sister on school premises and you feel like you need to make some true friends with real values then this is the group for you!

  9. Jeannie Jean says:

    I was only able to participate in SOL for only a few shorts month before I moved to Georgia. I distinctly remember my going away party, everyone had such nice things to say. Although I didn’t get to know some of the girls as much as I would’ve like to, I knew they were going to be phenomenal women because of Ms. James. Ms. James is by far one of my favorite teachers she not only had an impact in my life but in the lives of so many… SOL is SOL because of Ms. James and Mama James (for raising such a wonderful daughter). SOL gives girls a voice in a society where women are viewed as sexual objects and become mothers before they even graduate high school. SOL gives girls a platform to be authentic. The ladies of SOL ROCK! I joined SOL because I wanted to be the change I wanted to see in the world (yes thats Ghandi). I missed out on alot because I moved however, I would strongly encourage girls not to miss out if ever given the opportunity to participate!

  10. Debi Destina says:

    Hello to All,

    SOL is definitely a program that you want to join, I was privileged to join SOL my junior year in high school. SOL was a place where you go to just be real to yourself and others in a positive place . Ms James is a great educator that facilitated this program, to empower young women to pursue career oriented and personal goals. Ms. James is cool person and I guarantee you will have fun in this club. SOL taught me how to transition from a young girl into a successful college graduate. One of the most valuable workshop that helped me a lot, was the etiquette dinner which I attended my senior year. People may think I am crazy or laugh, but now as I attend corporate dinners as a adult at work you are put in situations where on the dinner table has three to four forks, knives, and spoons on the table at once. You do not want to look stupid in front of your boss by using the wrong utensil. This is a great learning experience that will help you develop skills that you didn’t know you had. SOL is like your personal secret club, many wanted to join but a few were privileged with membership ………

  11. Dianne Bosquet says:

    I joined SOL my senior year of high school in 2006 and I loved every minute of it. SOL gave me an opportunity to learn about life skills, understanding our worth as young ladies and gave us a sisterhood that we still hold true today. We talked, we laughed, we cried and studied all together, always helping one another to be better people. With the help of Ms James, we became strong women and sisters. I miss our wonderful retreat to the Pochonos. It was that retreat that helped me open up and not fear people, my emotions or the world. SOL is a blessing to all girls, a chance to learn about empowerment and finding your own identity. It is a chance to gain a family and form a sisterhood with your fellow members. I appreciate Ms. James and Mama James for guiding us through the dreadful high school years. Lol. I wish that SOL could live on forever so that girls can have the same wonderful experiences that I’ve had. In School of Life I received the best and most important education ever and for that I will always be grateful.

  12. I’m relocating this here for Lisa Robotham:

    As a highschool student I couldn’t wait for senior year to come to be a potential SOL inductee. When I was nominated to be a member I was more than honored. The School of Life was a great program for young females struggling with different situations and building peer relationships with other girls in the organization. Ms. James has done a wonderful job at setting up the group and the way it was run. I am now in my last semester of college and still reminisce of the great times I had when I was a member of SOL. Cheers to the future of SOL I hope it prospers and lives on in Westbury High School and the tremendous changes it has made in many girls lives.

  13. Relocating this for Sable:

    Sable Williams
    Apr 08, 2011 @ 12:50:26 [Edit]

    I was a member of the first SOL group at my high school. Being a part of this group was one of my best memories! Not only did I learn about myself, but I got a chance to connect with other young women who I may not have had the chance to otherwise. The School Of Life helped me build the confidence to pursue my goals & become a positive influence on others.