This year, SV2 Teens decided to learn more about advancing equity in education. We’re so excited to warmly welcome our newest and awesome Community Partners to the SV2 family: Breakthrough Silicon Valley, Californians for Justice, and StreetCode Academy! Teens allocated a $20,000 grant across all three organizations in an energizing and collaborative process, and advanced in their own changemaker journeys. We learned so much about racial equity, community leadership, enduring and real change, taking a strengths based as well as co-creative approach to social impact, and more. We’re honored to have cultivated friendships with leaders across all three organizations, and in the spirit of youth leadership and changemaking, to have had such amazing Teen leaders throughout our program – ages 11-17!
More about each of the organizations in their words:
StreetCode Academy acts as a bridge between Black Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) and the technology they need to thrive in a digital age. StreetCode empowers communities of color to achieve their full potential by introducing the skills, mindsets, and networks needed to embrace tech and innovation, and seeks to realize a world where the digital divide is closed, catalyzing a diverse tech sector that is better able to solve global problems. StreetCode Academy has developed, tested, and continually refines a scaffolding of programming that creates a pipeline both to and from our communities and the tech sector. Through a blend of in-depth workshops for both youth and adults, curriculum and software development, and distribution of critical technology equipment, StreetCode shapes mindsets, builds skills, and increases access. StreetCode has served over 3,500 community members, and created an effective program model where 95% of alumni report that they continue to independently engage in tech education after graduating from our programs.
Californians for Justice (CFJ) is a statewide youth-powered organization fighting for racial justice by building the power of youth, communities of color, immigrants, low-income families, and LGBTQ communities. CFJ achieves its goals through three core strategies: 1) Organizing and Advocacy: Leading campaigns to improve school systems and culture for low income students of color; 2) Alliance Building: Growing the leadership of alliances to win campaigns and hold decision-makers accountable, and 3) Leadership Development: Deepening the analysis and skills of youth leaders so they can advocate for student-centered reforms and hold decision-makers accountable. More broadly through organizing and advocacy work, CFJ focused on three levels of systems change–state, district, and school– interacting with youth leaders, their classmates, their families, and community members at large. Impact is in the areas of youth leadership – e.g. supporting the social emotional development and well-being of over 100 core youth leaders, public education – e.g. working on state policy and in 8 districts and 11 schools, and community power – e.g. engaging 4,000 youth and community members who take action to improve their community.
Breakthrough Silicon Valley (BTSV) prepares motivated students with limited educational opportunities for success in rigorous college-preparatory high school programs and entry into four-year colleges. Breakthrough Silicon Valley also prepares outstanding high school and college students to enter careers in education. BTSV’s comprehensive 6-year college access and retention program for low-income and first-generation college students begins in the summer before 7th grade and extends through college enrollment. BTSV’s tuition-free program delivers year-round academic support, family engagement, college admissions counseling, and enrichment opportunities that build social emotional skills like confidence, grit, leadership skills, and a college-going mindset. 99% of graduates are admitted to a four-year college and 86% enroll immediately into a four-year college or university after completing high school. BTSV also inspires and prepares a diverse corps of young adults to pursue careers in education through “students-teaching-students” model. Each summer and through the school year BTSV recruits and trains high school and college students to teach middle school students.
The SV2 Teens program experience (all virtual this year) included reflecting on personal changemaking and philanthropic inspirations and interests, practicing active listening, taking an asset / strengths-based approach to learning and honoring community and nonprofit leadership, applying the principles of trust-based philanthropy, doing virtual site-visits to experience some of the organizations’ work and impact in action, and celebrating together along with Teens’ families.
The program was co-facilitated by SV2 Partner Anne Maloney and SV2 staff Amy Badiani.
Contact Amy if you’d like to learn more and/or know anyone who’d like to participate next year!