Young people have a deep passion for learning and a desire to explore new realms of knowledge. However, a Gallup poll of nearly a million students nationwide shows student engagement levels consistently decreasing as they get older, with the most dramatic drops occurring between the transition from elementary to middle school. This "engagement gap" suggests that schools need to be more responsive to students' interests and provide more supports to keep them actively engaged with their learning experiences, particularly as they advance into their secondary experience.
49% OF U.S. PUBLIC SCHOOL STUDENTS SURVEYED ARE ENGAGED WITH SCHOOL, AND...
47% ARE HOPEFUL FOR THE FUTURE.
45% OF OUR STUDENTS IS GRADES 5-12 SAY THEY PLAN TO START THEIR OWN BUSINESS SOMEDAY, BUT...
5% HAVE SPENT MORE THAN ONE HOUR IN THE LAST WEEK WORKING, INTERNERING, OR EXPOSED TO A REAL BUSINESS.
YEBO is a 90-day accelerator program that sits within and outside of a traditional school setting. Working in small cohorts, students begin their work by deeply empathizing with their communities as a means to help enhance their ideas. Students then engage a medley of workshops facilitated by partner artists that support them with designing their ventures, including the development of an early prototype of their concept. With a sound concept, budget, and an ask, students pitch their ideas to a community of potential investors and industry experts, with an objective of securing the resources and partnerships needed to complete their ventures.
In our program, students regularly receive and offer critical feedback, learn how to fail fast and grow from those failures, and are challenged to drive their work as the chief decision-makers. We offer a small seed grant to each venture, which students can access through an application process led by local funders and entrepreneurs.
HOLISTIC LEARNING: INCH WIDE, MILE DEEP
In YEBO, students engage a diverse-range of partners who are champions of their work. They design and execute their own media enterprises with the support of local artists and industry partners, and our coaches facilitate a design-thinking learning space that fosters and develops cognitive and creative abilities, while providing students a collaborative and affirming environment.
Students explore mediums that both align to their passions and are outside of their comfort zone, like music and film production, comic book creation, fashion, graffiti art and pod-casting, all of which help to build skills that are relevant in both the classroom and in the world.
Additionally, we acknowledge and explore the cultures in which various art forms were built and grew out of, most of which reflect the identities of many of our students.
While our primary aim with students is authentic engagement that helps them to engage fully in school and their futures, many of our courses also could lead middle school and high school students to pursue Career and Technical Education certifications. Examples of some of these certifications are: journalism, audiovisual, stage and set design, and music production.
THE WORLD IS OUR STUDIO
Our YEBOlabs (transportable media labs) offer students opportunities to explore, create, and broadcast from anywhere in the community. While this helps our students to apply their skillsets in a real world context, it also allows YEBO ton operate in schools and on sites that lack the infrastructure needed to facilitate media arts-based programming.
YEBOlabs can be used to create media from the field to develop documentaries, podcasts, and photography projects, while the mobile aspect of our labs enable students to showcase their work in innovative ways, such as pop-up festivals, concerts, and shows.
YEBO seeks to measure how students' experiences in our program affect their self-efficacy, development as a leader, and aspirations regarding education and career. The overarching goal is to support youth with channeling their gifts to become self-determined individuals.
In our Social Emotional Learning metrics, we aim to support students with developing the following beliefs and behaviors:
To reach our desired outcomes, students will be:
Able to clearly and compellingly present ideas
Self-reflective of their choices and attitudes
Able to change from and offer constructive feedback
Comfortable with taking risks and failing fast
Willing to question and interrogate systems and the status-quo