As the vast majority of people remain unconscious as to how their racial and cultural identity impacts their approach to life in general, SERC’s Youth Leadership for Equity Initiative is designed to help students develop strong, effective, leadership skills in order to make positive changes in their school and community. This particular training program will assist youth in learning more about who they are “culturally”, by exploring various aspects of their identities, and working with others to engage in meaningful dialogue. With a better understanding of their own identity, youth can understand how historic injustices impact them and use this knowledge to make positive changes (Wheeler, 2006).
SERC can provide training and technical assistance around Self Awareness and Cultural Identity, with goals under this phase to include:
Through an array of strategies, such as Peer to Peer Conversations, Facilitated Dialogue, Hands-on Activities, Teambuilding Exercises and Reflective Practice Exercises, some of the following topics will be explored:
The purpose of the Special Education Youth Advisory Council is to:
This Special Education Youth Advisory Council is designed to reach students who may not typically have an opportunity to share their voice. Students who are part of the council participate in focus groups and trainings that focus on leadership skills, team building, diversity and equity. Youth Council members also receive training around self-advocacy skills.
School Based PEER to PEER Mentoring Programs
Upperclassman high school students have provided insight into the development of a peer-to-peer mentoring program for incoming freshmen. Juniors and seniors mentored the freshmen and provided insight on their experience transitioning from middle school to high school, what improvements could be made to ease the transition, and what they thought the mentoring program should look like. We also provided a mentoring training to participating students.
District Focus Groups & Training
Students, school staff and family members participated in focus groups based on topics that were determined by the district. Students also received training on leadership, team building, diversity and equity.