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Student Empowerment

We believe that students are invaluable resources who are capable of leading in our schools and the community.

Student voice matters! Our goal is to develop students into extraordinary student leaders. Student empowerment opportunities are designed to tap into the amazing strengths and talents of all Newport News Public Schools students. In NNPS, our students lead important work, including designing and leading clubs, projects, and activities which not only provide an opportunity for self-development and service, but which also promote a positive school culture and discourage harassing behaviors.

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Bloom is a division-wide student led empowerment initiative, designed to equip promising female middle school students with the information and resources essential for their development as global leaders, destined to make an impact in their schools, community, and the world! To assist these middle school students, high school students partner with students from local colleges and universities and community partners to serve as "Empowerment Coaches."

In addition to an annual conference, Bloom organizations in each middle school meet regularly to address topics such as self-discovery, positive relationships, and health and wellness. Bloom participants also experience an annual leadership institute, college and career exploration opportunities, conduct social entrepreneurship and service projects, and learn valuable skills, such as public speaking and project management.

Learn about Bloom.

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RISE! Male Empowerment Conference

The RISE! Male Empowerment Program has entered its fourth year as a mentoring initiative for NNPS students. The K-12 initiative aims to connect youth with nurturing adults in schools and the community who work with youth to build skills, positive identity, and a sense of belonging and membership. Like Blossom, elementary RISE! is growing as many families seek out mentoring opportunities for younger students. RISE! is also coordinated by school-based coaches and supported by external volunteers who commit to regular participation in school-based programming and field experiences.

Register for the 2024 RISE! Male Empowerment Conference

NNPS 2024 RISE! Male Empowerment Conference. Please complete your registration for the RISE! Male Empowerment conference which will be held on Saturday, February 10th, 2024 at Heritage High School from 8:30am to 2:30pm. This opportunity is for Newport News Public Schools middle and high school students only.

2022-23 RISE! Male Empowerment Programming

  • RISE! is an umbrella initiative. All targeted programming for NNPS male students K-12 falls under RISE! and, as such, has access to shared funding and the division level program of work and activities.
  • 549 students participated in RISE! programming.
  • Nearly 400 8th-12th grade students participated in the annual RISE! Male Empowerment Conference in February 2023 at Heritage High School. The conference included a panel discussion and more than 20 breakout sessions.
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Emerging Leader Institute

Emerging Leader Institute is a selective leadership training opportunity for rising 11th and 12th grade student leaders. Sponsored by the RISE! Male Empowerment and Flourish Empowerment Programs, the purpose of the Institute is to equip students who already demonstrate leadership strength with the training, resources, and experiences to become global leaders.

Elementary School

In Newport News Public Schools, it is our goal to help students feel a connection to school that extends beyond the classroom. In our elementary schools, this is accomplished in part by offering a variety of clubs and activities for students that are sponsored by school-based staff members and local community partners. While our clubs and activities exist to provide experiences that promote student engagement, they also give students a platform to lead their own activities and to serve in both their schools and the community in various capacities. Giving students these opportunities not only provides them with meaningful experiences, but also gives them a positive sense of self and helps them feel a greater sense of belonging I their school community.

Middle & High School

Middle and high school students have many opportunities to lead in their schools, daily. Whether serving as an anchor on their school's morning broadcast, serving as a club officer, inspiring as an athletic team captain, or serving in the community, NNPS students learn important skills, such as critical thinking, relationship building, project management, and team work.

Principal's Advisory Group members serve as the voice of their peers in regular meetings with school administrators.

Superintendent's Advisory Group on Education (SAGE) members meet regularly with the superintendent to review and address issues of importance across the school division, including academics, student life, planning and policies.