From the Hood to the Wood


Transforming Our Youth

Simmons College is committed to transforming the youth in inner cities all over the US. This passion for empowering teens from the “other side of the tracks” is what sparked the mission “From the Hood to the Wood”. Here’s how it works:

Simmons Online Leadership Academy

Students enroll in the Simmons Online Leadership Academy where they are introduced to employability and culture building skills (aka soft skills). Students between the ages of 13 – 18 are eligible and financial assistance is available to cover the cost of the certification courses.

Certification Program

Students must earn their certifications in Leadership, Team Building, Winning Attitude, Decision Making, Conflict Resolution and Goal Setting prior to the end of the Spring semester.

Leadership Retreat

Students with the required certifications are invited to apply to attend a one week leadership retreat in Louisville, Kentucky (home of Simmons College). A letter of recommendation from a teacher, principal, counsellor or community leader is required; along with a copy of report cards, attendance and behavior records.

Outdoor Activities

Selected Students will enjoy outdoor activities such as fishing, hiking and canoeing. They will also receive mentorship and additional life skills training from Business Leaders, Pastors, Athletes and highly successful men and women of color who want to help them set and reach their goals.

Soft Skills

Students will receive additional soft skills certifications upon completion and will enjoy a semi-formal banquet in their honor in the city of Louisville; after their return from the Great Outdoors.

Life Changing

The teens that are selected will make life changing relationships, lasting relationships and will see the world from a new perspective.

This initiative launches in the summer of 2020 and seeks to serve more than 5,000 students online and hundreds each year at the retreat center. This initiative is in partnership with the National Baptist Convention of America, Inc.