This year students in the Social Innovation Program visited with just over 100 non-profits, government agencies, activists, artists, entrepreneurs, and media makers. 9th and 10th graders studied topics such as the conservation of green spaces in the face of urbanization, the school to prison pipeline, historic rates of income and wealth inequality, and teen mental health, amongst others. 11th graders worked on year long projects on issues like urban food insecurity, college access for youth in the foster care system, protection of the coyote population, and music education for students on the Autism spectrum. Through site visits and interviews, students learned about the nitty gritty of the issues as well as interventions people are rallying around (such as safe injection sites, or arts programming for incarcerated youth). They spent Mod 7 ideating and making progress on an intervention of their own. Students created lesson plans, school programs, podcasts, social media campaigns, educational games, and more. The end of year presentations at Exhibition Night proved that students are not only learning about timely social and environmental issues, but have also learned a variety of hard and soft skills (e.g., how to conduct themselves in an interview, how to visually document their work, how to create a convincing and compelling narrative, how to collaboratively make decisions). Students successfully pointed us toward a better world that might be.
It was an amazing year, only made possible by the generosity and trust of many Sequoyah community members and friends. Thank you for your willingness to host our students and for meeting their curiosity with enthusiasm for what you do.
Alan Minsky, program director at KPFK, recording students' podcast on youth incarceration
Student facilitators preparing for a resiliency workshop addressing teen mental health.
Madison Brookshire, Visual Thinking Strategies trainer, helping students develop a curriculum focusing on the power of street art.
Students modeling what a safe injection site might look like in Los Angeles.
Donated supplies ready to be delivered to survivors of domestic violence via custom designed care packages
11th graders carrying out their self-designed music curriculum with students who have Autism Spectrum Disorders
Juniors visiting Los Angeles County offices learning about local government support for accessory dwelling units as a solution to homelessness.
Students handing out native plants at the North Hollywood Farmers' Market to promote mental wellbeing.
Designing a game to instill critical thinking strategies around science issues such as GMOs
Student interviewing employees at KLEAN Treatment Centers on their opinions about safe injection sites where drug users are able to legally use with the support and supervision of medical and addiction professionals.