"It is easier to build a strong child than to repair a broken man." - Frederick Douglass

Making a Difference One Class at a Time

We can agree that society, the workplace, and technology has changed significantly over the past few decades, yet the majority of classrooms in North America have not realized these same significant changes.

One school, on the far South Side of Chicago, is doing something extraordinary. The Community Youth Development Institute (CYDI) High School, is preparing the youth and the community to become real-world-ready innovators.

You would think that this would be standard in schools across the board, but the reality is, it is not.

Most follow a school system that is called “The factory model school system.” The factory model school system is understood to have first emerged in Europe in the late 18th century and then in North America in the mid-19th century in what was called common schools (public schools). Do you think the name is just a coincidence? Nope!

This system and the results have been criticized in several ways, including on educational performance, student attendance, not preparing students for 21st-century society, and inspiration. Not to mention skills, such as collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking are not supported effectively by direct instruction and by methods that employ active learning or an inflexible, standardized classroom.

So why is The Community Youth Development Institute High School different? To start, some of the courses they offer like construction, which allows the students the ability to learn using their critical thinking skills, mathematics, problem-solving, and team building while they build something with their hands.

The school offers a class on how to use audio and create video productions. The students can now create and show the good things going on in their neighborhoods instead of watching just the negative reports on the news. The power that CYDI is giving to their students by helping them be heard is huge. Now, they can broadcast online and all over social media. These are just some of the courses they offer. They offer much more that make the students think outside of the box and enjoy learning to the point students almost forget they are in school.

On top of the many great courses, they also offer the students athletic programs allowing them to compete with other schools. CYDI is really showing their students what to expect on the next level whether it’s in college or what life throws at them.

The Community Youth Development Institute High School is building leaders in the community one class at a time.

Written by Pedro Guerra
Edited by Laurel Fee

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