We’re almost at the end of the year! We have come so far. The last thing we have to do is to present in the showcase. So what have we done in the mean time?
This project grew out of an existing student lead organization at Dobbins named “Today’s Students, Tomorrow’s Leaders”. This brought us three dedicated students to start the year off on a strong note, as they already spent the previous year brainstorming about issues that were important to them and their community. By the time EFS was ready to get to that part of our project development, the students had already decided that they would be looking at the connects between gun violence and environmental issues such as access to food and green space. With the support of Indy, the media teacher, the students decided that making an education video highlighting these problems and their connections would be the best path forward. It didn’t take long for the news to travel around, and before we knew these student leaders were being asked to join other initiatives around campus such as setting up a student vaccine clinic, interviewing school board members, and participating in speech competitions. They also shared the work they were doing with their friends around campus with a growth of student involvement being 300%, and as the year draws to a close we now have nine incredible students involved in this project. That’s great!
So how is the actual project going? We need more time. As a school, and organization, we have tried to be very intentional of respecting the time of our students. This means that while it’s a challenge to only meet for an hour after school a week, it’s not fair to ask the students to go home and do more. If we do as for work outside of that we make sure the students are compensated. We understand that anything outside of school hours can be conflicting with other obligations, and with a mission of empowering students we can’t monopolize their time. So while we were waiting on the last grant money for the students to complete their project, we couldn’t ask them to spend hours they didn’t have interviewing people and editing videos. Lucky for us we have been pre-approved for the grant for next year and we’ll be able to pick up right where we left off. We already made contact with CeaseFire Philly, YEAH Philly, NoMo Foundation, Council person Kendra Brooks, and Councilperson Jamie Gautheir to name a few. We have already crafted sample interviews, and all the students have been trained how to give an interview and how to film one.
We set out this year with a big goal in mind, and we’ve accomplished a lot. I’m proud of Dobbins, and I can’t wait to see how this project continues to grow!
Look out for one last update from me on how our Student Symposium, or you can see us there!