The C5 Youth Foundation of Texas (C5 Texas) is a five year leadership development program for high potential youth from under-resourced communities in the north and central Texas areas. With our community nominating partners, we select a cohort of 72 students who begin our program the summer before 8th grade, and we work with each class providing curriculum that includes leadership development, social awareness, college access, career exploration, and community engagement.
In order to be nominated, students must be identified as:
1. High Potential:
"B" or higher GPA
Involved in organizations & extracurricular activities
Able to work and interact positively with others
2. Needs Support
Family earns $10,000 or less per household member or student is part of a free/reduced lunch program
Potential first generation college student
Part of a single-parent family
3. Challenge Ready
Can adjust to being away from home
Internally motivated to become a leader
Able to prioritize between C5 and other activities
C5 Texas provides five Signature Summer Experiences that jumpstart and focus the curriculum for the upcoming year. The first two summers are spent at our summer camp in Killeen, Texas, where we focus on "Leading Myself" and "Leading Others". The third summer, students travel to Wyoming to "Expand My Horizons" and are challenged to demonstrate their leadership skills for a 14 day back-country adventure. During their fourth summer, students visit college campuses to "Explore My Future" on a student designed experience. The final summer is spent "Engaging My Community" where students become advocates for issues that they identify in their communities.
In conjunction with the summer experiences, C5 Texas also provides a series of year round events, or Pathways, to help students further apply the leadership skills first learned during their summer experiences. These pathways include job shadowing, college access workshops, leadership retreats, community service events, and leadership lunches with community leaders.
Maleny Calderon, Class of 2011
As a little girl I knew that I was meant to be someone. At a young age I was able to understand that an education would lead me to a better future. Although I didn't know what attending a university meant (or the rigmarole that you have to go through just to get accepted!), I was 100% sure that I wanted to attend college. Unfortunately when my family and I moved to the U.S. (from Mexico), I believed that I would not be able to accomplish my goals. School as an immigrant student was challenging because I could not understand a single word my teachers were saying. My teachers, however, saw that I had a potential to be a leader and nominated me to be part of C5. I started C5 as a shy camper who at times let her fears get in the way of experiencing new activities. I am now a confident girl with a bright future. Thanks to C5, I have been accepted to Texas State, the University of Texas at Arlington, Oklahoma Baptist University, Texas Christian University, and Baylor University. I'm graduating in the top ten percent of my class, and I can proudly say that from an ESL student, C5 has turned me into an A.P. English student.
The way C5 has impacted my life is indescribable. I owe my high school success to this incredible program. With C5, I've discovered that I have the potential to overcome any challenge, whether it is my language barrier, meeting new people, or being comfortable at using leaves as my Charmin Ultra. C5 has changed my mentality. I used to think that everything should be about me, but let me assure you that the feeling of helping someone else, expecting nothing in return, is priceless. I want to become a math teacher and work with teenagers. I know that by being a teacher I'm not going to be the richest person in the world, but I know that it will bring joy to my life. I also want to work for C5 to help other teenagers, because this program is amazing and can save lives.
Maleny is currently studying Mathematics at the University of Texas at Arlington and was recently accepted into UTeach Arlington.