This past year, we added an exciting project component to the Fellows program. The purpose of the project component is for fellows to have hands-on experience in developing their own project for an issue they see a need to fix. Fellows were put into groups and chose an issue that they were all passionate about in the local community. Using their newly gained leadership skills and confidence, they created projects to help target those needs.
We are very proud of the great accomplishments of these fellows and we would like to share their stories with you. This particular group, called The Canvas, saw the need to target education as their issue and created a working space for students in the community.
We interviewed Tiffany Chang, one of the five members of The Canvas project.
What is The Canvas?
“The Canvas is a motivational and stimulating safe-space for students to express their creativity, develop their critical thinking, get inspired, and pursue their passions. We wanted to put learning under a new light and work with students to uncover the true value of learning.”
What was the issue that you saw the need to act on?
“Our group wanted to tackle a problem related to education. As high school students, we often see the deficit in critical thinking, personalized learning, and ultimately in the purpose of learning. In order to change the way we, as high school students, view education, we wanted to create an environment where students can personalize learning, explore and pursue interests, strengthen critical thinking skills, and simply have a safe place to work after school.”
What was the vision or goal of this project?
“Our vision is to empower a generation who will take charge of their own learning, think critically, and be confident in their strengths. Our goals include enforcing critical thinking, cultivating culture and innovation, inspiring students to take ownership of their learning, and promoting an industrial work ethic. We want to provide ways to bring out students’ strengths, create an intellectually safe environment where students feel safe to express and challenge their beliefs and assumptions, and develop and practice emotional intelligence and soft skills that make learning more meaningful and applicable to students.”
What leadership skills and values from the Center for Tomorrow’s Leaders program did you need to apply to this project?
“[We applied] all of the leadership skills. From creating a vision and solidifying our concept to helping each other through rough times, we were all able to see the five core practices reveal themselves outside the classroom.”
What was the most fulfilling part of the project?
“The most fulfilling part is talking to people who [want] to join us as partners, sponsors, and attendees. Whether it is the wide smiles and endless ideas from the students at Farrington, or the generosity of our supporters, the light on [their] faces helps us gain momentum toward our vision.”
What are your next steps for The Canvas and how do you wish to expand it in the future?
“Our next steps include opening our booth at Farrington's registration day on July 23rd, construction, and opening the space. We are also starting to seek volunteers and speakers who want to host a symposium and share with students about an interest or experience.”
The Canvas team would like to thank those who have supported them to get to this point. Tiffany says, “As we near the opening day this fall semester, we look back and thank all of those who have supported us to get us to this point. We truly appreciate all the support we can get and look forward to officially ignite the culture change!”
If you would like to learn more about The Canvas, you can find them here: