Teen change-makers teach how use school lessons to lead social innovation through video courses used in secondary classrooms nationwide.
One of our partner classrooms we hosted an event with.
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21305 36th Drive SE WA: Bothell (98021)
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Date You Started Your Project Started
September / 01 / 2017
Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.
Established (successfully passed early phases, have a plan for the future)
1. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?
There is a need for a bridge between high school lessons and teens' desire for a meaningful impact and passion. At age 16, 17, and 18, there are teen activists, CEOs, and nonprofit leaders changing the world. However, there are also rampant epidemics of anxiety and stress. To prioritize teens' sense of value and belonging, it is crucial that they are empowered to use knowledge obtained in school to create the change they believe in.
2. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.
Eclipsnotes produces free online courses taught by teen change-makers on everything from writing and political activism to music and art. Teen teachers demonstrate how to apply classroom knowledge to create social innovation, helping other teens find their passion and providing high school educators real-world applications for their classes. We use a peer-to-peer model, so teens can learn from each other. Through our online learning platform, high school educators can match their lesson plans to relevant videos. We believe teen change-makers are not born; they are made through support, education, and work integrating into existing systems.
3. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project?
Due to burnout in my sophomore year, there was a time in my life when I felt very disillusioned and directionless. In that time, I felt a disconnect with what my purpose was and the work I was doing for school and other organizations. I hoped to find my place in the world through education. After a few months, I finally opened up to friends, teachers, and counselors and realized that overwhelming stress, anxiety, confusion and even mental illness are incredibly common. Even if I did not have a clear idea of my personal identity, I resolved to help others find themselves. I joined forces with a few of my friends, and we created fun, teen-taught prep videos for our school's Environmental Science and World History classes—focusing on learning about oneself and the world as well as service and personal identity like no other organization did.
5. Example: Please walk us through a specific example of what happens when a person or group gets involved with your project.
Our work with a high school English teacher on our advisory board illustrates our creative process. His students were burned out due to writing, rewriting, and answering the same prompts not for the purpose of using that writing but completing an assignment. However, he believed that the work they were doing was important as a foundation. Plus, they could use the skills obtained to work for society and pursue passions. So, he requested a mini course for his students on the potential for writing to change the world. The series was produced over three months, featuring teen change-makers from authors and literary magazine editors to activists. Then, it was launched in his classroom. Surveys showed that students loved it. One student even reached out to the teen instructors in the video; he found his passion for exploring systemic problems in treating mental health through writing.
6. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?
The majority of online learning platforms are not teen built and taught and focus more on content material or entertainment rather than real-world service and impact. Through teen teachers, we stress finding passion and purpose as opposed to just learning for a test or exam—essentially combing personal identity and discovery with education. Many teen-run organizations provide workshops and tutoring, but we are a multimedia organization that makes that kind of learning accessible for anyone with Internet. We do not intend to replace these other organizations but rather have them as partners.
7. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?
Eclipsnotes has 10,000 users across the globe. So far, we work with 6 school partners in 3 districts and have hosted 5 community events with 500 students. Running our organization and content production is a 12+ team and 20+ teen teachers. And, we are growing!
8. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?
For next year, we are planning to invest in graphic design, animation, and video editing to bring our online courses to an excellent professional standard. Our goal is to expand to 50 schools across the nation and partner with major youth and educational organizations as well as school districts. Through this process, we will focus on taking input from our partners and designing and producing new, innovative online courses for teens searching for their passion and inspiration.
9. Which of the following types of expertise would be most useful for you?
10. Finances: If applicable, have you mobilized any of the following resources so far?
Donations less than $100
Donations between $100-$1k
Donations between $1k-$5k
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