Kid City has embarked on a new education research project: Learning During Covid-time. 15 high school and college students shared their experiences in what it means to learn during a global pandemic with education advocates and legislative staff across the state. Read more here.
Pictured are Kid City college students and alumni with members of the College for All Coalition during a legislative visit in Sacramento in 2017
Cristhel Herrera, who joined the project from UC Riverside, helped to plan and facilitate the listening sessions. "From the start of the pandemic, I have seen how my friends, family, and classmates have continued to struggle with online classes. As a current college student, I felt like the education system only cared about receiving housing and tuition money. I didn’t feel like their student’s needs were their main concerns. It began to feel like students were left to fight their own battles. As a current Education Research Intern with Kid City, I have become aware of organizations that advocate for students. This internship has been an opportunity to be part of a team that works toward helping students. We have created questionnaires and planned listening sessions to allow students to voice their concerns and stories. Not only was this been an outlet for students, but it was a chance to be heard by people that are fighting for positive change. "
Another intern, Erick Hernandez, also a student at UC Riverside, joined the project just prior to the listening session on January 13th.
“Being both an intern and listener at the listening session was a rewarding experience. I had my personal views and beliefs going into the listening session, but I came out learning about more issues that affect students throughout. I closely followed the audience’s emotions, facial expressions, and determination for when to speak up.
Erick Hernandez, KC Research Intern
“One student shared how overwhelming it was to go to school from home. She had a hard time working around zoom, and as she put it, “it was very detrimental to my health, having to always find a new nook in the house to study in.” After her story, the audience communicated their empathy and understanding in frowns and simple nods. The speaker’s vulnerability was reflected in others who felt comfortable enough to say “yes, I feel the same way too.” High school students a lot younger than me empathized, and offered comfort wherever it fit. The audience praised her for being brave enough to share, and were moved by her openness and honesty.
Erick went on to conclude that “these kinds of pivotal moments tell us more about how we should advocate as we go forward. If we are to ever find a solution to the gaps in our education system, we must share about the effects being felt from Covid, that they are actually real, and affect the poorest communities even more so. If there’s anything that I take away from this listening session, it will be that I am not alone in all this. So many of my Latinx people are fighting for what they believe in, and if I ever am to call myself the son of Immigrants, I must also do the same, and fight for those who cannot.”
Gladwin Osakwe, KC Intern
Erick and Cristhel, along with Gladwin Osakwe, who served as emcee, will analyze and summarize the data they have collected, and offer it to our colleagues at Education Trust West, the Campaign for College Opportunity, and the College for All Coalition, where we are confident that it will be used to bolster the policy advocacy for educational equity that looms before us this pivotal year. We are grateful to everyone who joined the call on January 13th, and are grateful for the work we do together to advance equity.