Black Rock Scholars
The Black Rock Scholars Program encourages students to participate in experiences, both in and out of the classroom, that prepare them to be exemplary citizens of the global community. Black Rock Scholars engage in five core areas related to Berkshire’s mission: Sustainability, Diversity and Inclusion, Community Service and Philanthropy, Sense of Place, and Global Awareness. Students complete a culminating project that they design and execute, and they lead an initiative that serves a local or global community.
This is a humanitarian crisis, one of the worst that we've ever seen and we have to do something. The time to act is now.SAM BANNETT '17
Black Rock Scholar and Sustainability student Charlotte Childs '18 connected with local farmers to source the ingredients for a grilled cheese lunch. Charlotte also hosted a BBQ later in the semester using locally-sourced food.
Evan Liddy ’16 was inspired to connect with local environmentalists and farmers in the area as part of the culminating project for his Sustainability class after reading the 2015 All-School Read, Oil and Honey by author Bill McKibben. Liddy worked closely with local beekeeper Russ Wilson to install a bee apiary on the east side of campus.
Black Rock Scholars must successfully complete two Black Rock focused courses. A Black Rock focused course is one in which the content is concentrated explicitly and intentionally in one of the 5 core areas: Sustainability; English VI: The Mountain and Me; Economics and Philanthropy; Race, Class and Gender. Semester programs such as High Mountain Institute, The Chewonki Foundation, Island School, School Year Abroad offer Black Rock focused and related courses.
A Black Rock Scholar must also successfully complete two academic experiences in Black Rock related courses. A Black Rock related course is one that includes experiences concentrated on one of the focus areas. For example, English V, which includes a student-driven I-cubed project, is a Blackrock related course, as a student may opt to concentrate on one or more of the five areas.
Extra-curricular requirements: Black Rock Scholars will need to demonstrate participation in each of the five areas: Community (service and/or philanthropy), diversity, global awareness, sustainability, and a sense of place. These experiences may take place at any point during a student’s high school career, in and out of the classroom, on and off campus, and can take place at any time during the calendar year.
For example: summer work, travel, on and off campus service, sustainability related activity, conferences, workshops, etc.
Culminating Project: A Black Rock Scholar will design, execute and lead an initiative that serves the community, local or global. This initiative may be focused on one or more of the focus areas. The project must be approved and reviewed by a panel made up of teachers and students. The project must be goal oriented, and include a public presentation or culminating experience in and/or out of school.
E-Portfolio: Document each of these requirements in an e-Portfolio
Eligibility and Entry into the Program:
Fourth form students who are interested in entrance into the Black Rock Scholars Program begin the process by discussing their interest with their faculty advisor. Advisors may also reach out to fourth form advisees who they believe are well suited for the program. Students who enter Berkshire in the fifth form are eligible for entrance in the second semester of their fifth form year.