7th & 8th Grade: Student Leaders

Our 7th and 8th grade students receive after-school training on the golf course from our PGA professionals and volunteer coaches. They also have the option to be paired with a mentor for an opportunity to be a trusting, caring relationship with a supportive adult. Each student is transported from school to the golf course twice per week in the SwingPals bus. Scroll down to read about the different components of the Student Leaders Program.


Mindfulness & Leadership

A significant part of the SwingPals program is mindfulness and emotional regulation. We use HeartMath® tools in classroom instruction and activities to teach our students to focus their minds and achieve emotional balance. The Smart Brain Wise Heart™ program teaches students how to respond positively to stress, and assists students with decision-making and motivation. This program demonstrates how synchronicity of the heart, mind, and body assists learning, goal-setting, and relationship-building skills. 


Community Service

Durham is a very diverse city with a range of nonprofit, education, government, and business organizations working to improve our community. We want our SwingPals Student Leaders to have the opportunity to engage with professionals in these different sectors and learn about the unique parts of our community. SwingPals organizes a few service activities (and transportation!) each school year just for our Student Leaders to gain experience working with a team and contribute to making change. 


College Access

Some of our students join SwingPals already interested in college, while others know very little about it. Our goal with our college access program is to teach our students about the opportunities available to them if they decide to further their education at a community college or university. As part of this program, we take our students on field trips to local colleges where they receive official campus tours, eat in the student dining halls, and spend time at the golf course. While we recognize that not all of our students are interested in this path, we feel it is important to share this educational information so that they can make informed decisions for their future.


Student Ambassadors

After graduating from the 8th grade program, new high school students have the opportunity to remain part of the SwingPals program as Student Ambassadors. The components of this program are similar to those of the Student Leaders program, but with a focus on being examples for the younger students and preparing for the next steps in their journey as successful community change-makers.