InnovaYouth strengthens research, collaboration, and communication skills to empower students to become community changemakers.
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Are you employed by T-Mobile or related to an employee of T-Mobile?
Eligibility: Date of Birth
May 16, 2002
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3439 Avocado Hill Way, Hacienda Heights, CA 91745
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Date You Started Your Project Started
April 25, 2018
Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.
Scaling (expanding impact to many new places or in many new ways)
1. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?
In today's society, students lack the necessary skills to take their passions and interests to the next level. High schools simply do not reinforce collaboration and public speaking life skills in the classroom setting. Education must not simply teach work standards. It must teach life skills as well. This was when InnovaYouth was born: with the simple concept of empowering students to drive social change.
2. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.
InnovaYouth promotes an inclusive, sustainable learning culture by tying relevant global issues through the lens of the UN SDGs to curriculum in the classroom to enable students to make exceptional contributions to society through extending communication, collaboration, and research initiatives. Through our workshops and conferences, we educate and inspire students to launch projects that aim to positively impact their respective field of knowledge. Examples of social change projects have included Green Life, a project on educating middle school students about the presidential candidates' stances on climate change and Stand Up, an anti-bullying initiative to increase confidence for young students.
Our youth need to be at the forefront of creating innovative solutions to challenging issues that are currently being left unsolved. Whether if it is from climate change, to education policy, and even mental health, young people have the voice to drive conversation, and make an exceptional contribution to the world as a global citizen.
3. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project?
We wanted to make sure students mattered in their educational journeys, and had the ability to take what they learn inside the classroom, and apply it to real world applications. Students in our AP & honors courses should not just take the notes and memorize factual information from the textbook anymore; they should look beyond to solve systemic issues that affect our generation and future generations to come.
Furthermore, we surveyed more than 100 students across Los Angeles County and found that public schools were not teaching the crucial skills that helped them make a positive difference in their communities: research, collaboration, and communication. Everyday, teachers told us that we were to worry about the application of our knowledge later, after college. But for our generation, systemic change starts now in the present with the power of young voices.
4. Selfie Elevator Pitch: Include 1-minute video that answers the following “I am stepping up to make change because...”
We are stepping up to make change because the youth needs to be at the forefront of social change and it is time that we teach our next generation to be active learners ready to improve the systems of society.
5. Example: Please walk us through a specific example of what happens when a person or group gets involved with your project.
InnovaYouth has paved the way for many students around the world to get involved with our changemaker curriculum by opening applications for students to host workshops at their schools, volunteering at workshops and Gen Z Summits, and contributing to newly released Innovation Journal, featuring youth perspective on a range of modern issues and its effects on their education inside and outside of the classroom. We are currently working on establishing a global InnovaYouth chapter network to streamline our curriculum and resource distribution to middle & high schools and increase engagement within our workshops and conferences. Students are able to start clubs at their school to engage their communities and receive community service hours for hosting workshops to inspire the next generation of student leaders, ultimately to disrupt, innovate, and prepare for the future.
6. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?
InnovaYouth uniquely targets the education & skills development gap in the K-12 system through developing social innovation and global citizenship programs to address the resource gaps in 21st century knowledge of the world’s challenges and newest demands. Through enforcing a “changemaking” solutions-oriented mindset in students, students are equipped with toolkits for creating their own change in their communities by understanding the interconnectedness of global issues as well as catalyzing their learning inside the classroom to develop projects that reinforce those essential skills.
7. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?
InnovaYouth has directly impacted 9000+ students in 15 states and 6 countries. We have hosted more than 50+ workshops in libraries and community centers across the nation, in addition to a partnership with the LA County of Parks and Recreations , on topics like the "United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals" and "Civic Engagement" to help students identify community needs. As an educational supplement to traditional classroom learning, InnovaYouth also hosted its first annual Generation Z Summit to bring together 100+ students to learn from the perspectives of industry professionals, innovative educators from Vanderbilt University and USC, and fellow prominent youth leaders on some of the most popular trends, from public policy issues in education to the activism of keeping institutions accountable to youth inclusivity.
8. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?
InnovaYouth has recently also established a partnership with the Hacienda La Puente, West Covina, and Montebello School Districts to integrate our social change curriculum into every single elementary and middle school, reaching 50,000 students by November 2019. We will train high school students to host workshops about leadership and entrepreneurship & encourage students to take their passions to the next level. We are also excited to finalize a partnership with USC & UCLA to host campus seminars, where nearby high school students could get mentorship from current college students, and renowned professors could inspire and spark creativity on topics in healthcare, environmental sustainability, technology, and education.
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 between $100-$1k
Help Us Support Diversity! Part 1 [optional] Which of the following categories do you identify with?
Asian (for example: Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, Pakistani) (9)
Help Us Support Diversity! Part 2 [optional] Do you identify as part of any of the following underrepresented communities?
Communities of color
How did you hear about this challenge?
Participated in previous Ashoka challenges
Word of mouth
Referral: If you discovered the Challenge thanks to an organization or person other than Ashoka or T-Mobile, who was it?