I AM A 21st CENTURY LEADER PROGRAMFredericksburg, Virginia, United States

I AM A 21st CENTURY LEADER program is an academic and leadership initiative of Empowering The Poor, Inc. a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization based in Fredericksburg, VA.                                        


I AM A 21st CENTURY LEADER program is the brainchild of Darius Coulibaly, an educator at Chancellor high school (Spotsylvania County, Virginia), University of Mary Washington and Germanna Community College (an adjunct instructor in the department of Economics), and a home-based counselor (Qualified Mental Health Professional). As a teacher, Darius grew frustrated with the poor academic performance of lower-income students, the lack of parental involvement in their child’s education, their low-college enrollment and graduation rate in lower-income communities… in brief, he is fed up with America’s biggest underbelly–the educational crisis confronting economically disadvantaged communities in the Fredericksburg, Virginia, its surrounding counties, and across the United States.

Darius questioned and challenged his effectiveness as a teacher in providing sustainable solutions to the educational crisis confronting million of Americans. He realizes that he takes more than a teacher and more than the traditional after-school homework club, to bring sustainable solutions to this crisis.

Darius believes that it takes a holistic approach that will transform the lives of all students, rich, middle-class, or lower-income, unlock their potential, and impart a world-class education that centralizes problem-solving and critical thinking skills. He strongly believes that academic success is built and sustained by what happens in the student’s home and community as well as within the traditional public school classroom.  Darius also believes that our students are the next generation of leaders, problem solvers, and game-changers. And it is our responsibility to empower them to become lifelong learners so that they are able to competently tackle the challenges that lie ahead in college, in life, and become productive global citizens. That is why he started I Am A 21st Century Leader Program on September 30th, 2012.

MISSION: Our mission defines who we are and sets the standard by which we exist.                                                    

  • To enhance the academic achievement of students, 1st – 12th, through personalized academic coaching to remediate academic gaps, strengthen student’s understanding of grade level concepts, and student’s performance on assignments, quizzes, and tests.
  • To equip our students with the test preparation required to pass the SOL, AP Exams, PSAT, SAT, ACT, ASVAB, GED, and attend the college and university of their dreams.
  • To provide therapeutic mentoring and counseling to modify student’s behaviors in school and in the community and prevent out-of-school placement and out-of-home placement, and support students to cope appropriately with school or life-related stressors.
  • To prepare high school students to lead today’s 21st global village by learning, thinking, and taking actions to address local and global issues (human trafficking, poverty, environment, etc).


  • Personalized Academic Coaching: We design personalized learning plan tailored to the needs of the student. We partner with student, parents, teachers, and school officials to create S.M.A.R.T academic goals and plan of action. We support parental engagement in the academic life of the student. We achieve excellence when our students have realized their individual goals. We are dedicated to ensuring not only that concepts and strategies are clear and easy to understand, but also that learning takes place in a safe, comfortable and nurturing environment.
  • Our Staff: Our academic coaches are the keys to our continued success and growth. We are committed to ensuring that our coaches are over-qualified and well equipped to impart the greatest level of understanding to our students. We hold ourselves to the highest standards and are committed to ensuring that every student is respected and valued. Our greatest competitive advantage is our staff, qualified licensed teachers and passionate educators.
  • Collaborative Efforts: Through collaborative efforts, we seek to identify the strengths, skills, and areas in need of improvement of our students in order to cultivate and develop S.M.A.R.T academic and mentoring goals.
  • Excellence & Evaluation:  We optimize excellence at every exchange. We are passionate educators who strive for continuous improvement in all that we do, teaching, evaluate, track progress, and re-teach. We are committed to measuring the process by which we implement and deliver our services, the impacts of our services on the student, parent, and the community. To that end, the program conducts formative and summative evaluations throughout the year.


Are there gaps in your child’s understanding of core subject areas? Do you want your child to catch up and get ahead in all levels of Math, Science, English, Social Studies, Economics, and French, 1st through 12th grade?   We provide affordable, innovative, and personalized academic coaching at a public location convenient for you to accommodate your busy schedule.

Do you want your child to get ready for the SAT, ACT, SOLs, AP Exams, ASVAB, or GED test?  Would you like your child to review important concepts that will be tested and master test-taking strategies? Does your child need guided preparation to score your highest on your entrance exam? We provide premier test preparation through one-on-one coaching and small group courses at an affordable rate.

  1. Personalized Academic Coaching: Click here to REGISTER TODAY One-On-One: $25/hour □Small Group: $10/hour □ Scholarship: Free upon face-to-face meeting with the program staff and signature of a pledge of Commitment In Learning                                                    
  2. Test Prep Courses: Click here to REGISTER TODAY 4 to 44 hours, Saturdays, 10-1pm, lunch/snack provided, small size class (2-10), and one-on-one setting available.         SAT/ACT (Math & English): : $30/hr    

    ASVAB: $30/hr □ ED:$30/hr                                                              

    SOL (Math, English, Science, Social Studies): : $25/hour  

3.Therapeutic Mentoring and Counseling: Medicaid   □ Private Insurance                                                                  

  1. 4. Youth Leadership: It operates at the high school level through the Glocal Café. Start a Glocal Café chapter at your high school to confront local and global issues. For more information and to see what students at Chancellor High School and Massponax High School are doing, visit the Glocal Café tab on the main page of the web site.


  • One student in America drops out every 26 seconds; that is 1.23million per year. And 60% of the 1.23 million students who drop out each year are from low-income families (Alliance for Excellent Education,
  • 70% of 8th graders can’t read at grade level and most will never catch up. (ED in 2008, Strong American Schools)
  • Nearly one-third (1/3) of all public schools students—and nearly one-half (1/2) of all African Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans fail to graduate from public school with their class (Alliance for Excellent Education,
  • The government would reap $45 billion in extra tax revenues and lower costs for public health, crime, and welfare payments if the number of high school dropouts among 20-year olds in the U.S today, who number more than 700,000 individuals were cut in half (Alliance for Excellent Education,

CONTACT:  To register or for questions about our Personalized Academic Coaching and Test Prep Courses, please contact our Academic Coaching Coordinator, Andrea Chew, or call her at (540) 760 9048

To register or for questions about our Therapeutic Mentoring and the Glocal Cafe, please contact our Program Servant, Darius Coulibaly, or call our Administrative Coordinator, Sophonie Beauvais at (615) 545-0691

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