Reimagining Learning Environments
YEBO & Empower
Tapping into Students’ Genius
In 2017, a team of students, families, and educators met bi-monthly in Aurora to design an innovative school that would come to be known as Empower Community High School (ECHS). Today, students at ECHS are designing their own learning experiences and tapping into their unique genius thanks to in-house enrichment programs like the Hustle Collective (HC). Through HC, which provides students with funding and coaching to learn a skill or pursue their passion, students have explored everything from gardening to video game streaming.
By partnering with fellow Margulf grantee Youth Empowerment Broadcasting Organization (YEBO), ECHS has been able to offer its students even more access to personalized educational experiences. YEBO was born out of founder Cory Montalvo’s time working as a Dean of Students where he witnessed the power of using creative outlets to support student’s growth. Through apprenticeships and research institutes, youth in YEBO partner with academics, teachers, and industry experts to learn how to leverage their existing digital literacies as powerful tools that can positively transform their mindsets, their relationships, and the world around them. Thanks to these initiatives, students have launched many digital media ventures, including creating their own podcast, participating in eSports competitions, and designing a video game.