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Civitas Community Impact Experience

 

Work doesn’t look the same as it did in 1930. Why does school?

The Civitas Community Impact Experience (CCIE) is an experiment in revolutionizing education in America through project based learning in urban education. It is an immersive innovation program for High School seniors where they work as consultant on projects with real companies and organizations that have a direct impact on their community. Students spend half their day at CCIE, and half in a traditional school setting.


Reimagining High School

 
 

How do we reimagine high school to prepare students for the 21st century economy?

 
 

Interdisciplinary Project Based Learning

At CCIE students work on Projects that are inspired by their passions, and lead to interdisciplinary real world learning.

At CCIE students work on Projects that are inspired by their passions, and lead to interdisciplinary real world learning.

Student Led Classroom

When students take control of their classroom and the trajectory of their education they gain skills in working in teams, handling ambiguity, and project management.

When students take control of their classroom and the trajectory of their education they gain skills in working in teams, handling ambiguity, and project management.

Curriculum Based on Student Passion

Students should be able to pursue the things that drive them, and have a direct impact on their community, school, family and friends.

Students should be able to pursue the things that drive them, and have a direct impact on their community, school, family and friends.

 
 

Student Profile

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Antonio

  • Grade: High School Senior

  • Age: 17

  • From: South Side of Chicago

  • On track to graduate

Goals:

  • Degree in Plant Chemistry

  • Owning his own Business

Motivations:

  • Taking care of family

  • Giving back to his community

  • Music and Friends

Pain Points:

  • Unmotivated by school

  • Boredom and lack of support leads to acting out or not attending class

  • Limited real world opportunities through school


Core Structures

 
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Leadership and Team Building

Students work on two projects at a time, and through this interact with peers outside their friend groups. This forces them to develop real world team work, and leadership skills. Every student must take a leadership role on a project throughout the year.

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Restorative Justice

Social and Emotional Learning is key to the program as CCIE seeks to undo years of disciplinary based education, and foster empowered youth who understand how to empathize, and build community with others.

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Individualized Learning

Each student receives individualized educational goals that they set for themselves with support from program facilitators. The focus is on developing the whole student based on their own inspirations, passions, and desires.

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Reflection

Each week students reflect on the Successes, Obstacles, and Growth they have encountered over the past week. This is then used in individual meetings with Facilitators and helps students understand how introspection can be used as a powerful tool for development.

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Community Partners

CCIE’s partners play a key role in giving students real world experiences, and feedback and guidance from subject matter experts. In addition students can work on projects for their clients and complete work that can go on their resume and into a portfolio.

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Public Presentations

The ability to speak in public and do so effectively is a key skill for making your ideas real in the world. Every student has to present in a public forum at least once throughout the year, and they are constantly pitching and presenting to their peers, facilitators and partners.

 
 


Sample Projects

Junkyrd

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Junkyrd is a brand dedicated to changing the fashion culture in Chicago by inspiring black teens to take ownership of their style by creating their own unique pieces of clothing. Through collaborations with Chicago designers and production houses, Junkyrd hosts events for teens to create their own pieces.

“Junkyrd has really helped me with showing off the many talents I have acquired. I was able to show leadership when we hosted 2 Pop-Up Shops at Chicago Quest. I was able to teach my fellow classmates how to properly design and create their own apparel.” - Tesher

MOnthly Leaks

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Monthly Leaks is a social venture with the mission of creating menstrual equity for incarcerated women through awareness, care packages, and legislation. Recently, Rep. Wallace served as keynote speaker during our First Annual Tea Party Pad Drive!

“I am taking this project to college, turning it into a real non-profit, and one day, when my mother is no longer incarcerated, she will join me as the face of my movement.” - Diamond

Abandoned

No one actually knows exactly how many abandoned buildings (and schools) are located in the city of Chicago. These spaces are often unsafe, unused, and eyesores preventing upward mobility in communities of color. Team Abandoned proposed rehabilitating similar spaces as opportunities to close the “Adventure Gap” that exists for low income students of color, and were recognized as finalists in the BP Student Ideas Competition by The Chicago Architecture Biennial.

“I want to memorialize a whole neighborhood to honor those residents who were displaced by gentrification. I will strive to preserve a piece of its cultural identity for future generations.” - Yaree

 

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