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Amplifying Youth Voice

By Aldine Emerimana, R.I.S.E. Intern

A showcase is an occasion or celebration at R.I.S.E Academy that takes place at the end of each semester. In comparison, in traditional school exams are provided before the conclusion of the semester, whereas at R.I.S.E Academy, students are given the chance to showcase their work (passion projects) to their family, friends, R.I.S.E. employees, and community members. For roughly 5-10 minutes, students are divided into breakout rooms where they can explain their projects and guests are able to ask questions and learn more about their projects. This gives students a sense of empowerment and is an alternative, less stressful way of evaluating success when compared to the stress of succeeding or failing tests. For example; one student is currently working on creating a new course for R.I.S.E. The modules he created are about different topics Another student was interested in the effects that covid has had on individuals physical/mental wellbeing. That being said, this encouraged her to pursue a career path in sports psychology. These showcase events allow students to share what they are passionate about and how they have incorporated this into their courses with R.I.S.E.

Another benefit of these showcase events is that doing so teaches them how to communicate in front of a crowd, which is a valuable career skill. They prepare content for public presentations and develop their communication skills via practice. Furthermore, students are asked questions throughout the showcase which helps them develop critical thinking skills. 

Ultimately, the showcase is empowering and gives guests the opportunity to learn more about the difference between traditional school and R.I.S.E Academy. In addition, they learn about topics that they don’t teach in school such as; mental health, socializing & networking. In fact, at R.I.S.E Academy, students get the chance to do some research about those topics, learn more about them, and teach it to others. R.I.S.E Academy’s mission is to level the field for historically underprivileged students by reducing and eliminating the discriminatory structures that are built within the standard school education concept. This showcase event is helping with this.

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