Gender Gaps: Opposite Gaps in Confidence and School Performance across Gender

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  "If life were one long grade school, women would be the undisputed rulers of the world," (Kay and Shipman 2014). Thinking about my personal experience with grade school, I couldn't agree more. The first and foremost example that comes to mind is spending every year of my K-12 schooling with my twin brother. Though rivalry between any siblings is natural, rivalry between twins is unparalleled. Sharing a teacher, parents, large portions of DNA and many other facets of life, one would think we'd have equal footing when it came to school success. However, year after year, I showed up with a better report card and a more positive parent-teacher conference. I’m not saying that I am any smarter than him, but I simply received better results in school. This situation is not unique to me; "girls … [Read more...]

Living In Charlotte’s West End

This week I created a slam poem that covers topics such as American identity, urban violence, education reform, and the break-in a few weeks ago at our apartment complex. Slam poetry is a writing form that is spoken in a monologue fashion as a hybrid between theatre and rap music. While the poem draws on fact, I've intended for it to concentrate the emotions of these last few weeks in a way I think text fails to deliver. If you appreciate my work, please like or share the video with those who may also find interest in this issue or art form. … [Read more...]

Navigating the Nonprofit World

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Through my work at the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute, I’ve met several directors and leaders of education-focused nonprofits in the Charlotte community. Many local nonprofits approach the Urban Institute to carry out a program evaluation for their organization; most want to use the Institute for Social Capital community database, which holds CMS school-data, to measure out precisely how their program affects students in the classroom. These meetings with community partners have become my favorite part of my internship. I’m inspired by these leaders’ passion to change the lives of children in their community. Whether the organization centers on hosting summer learning programs, providing teachers with much needed resources, or empowering low-income students to choose which school they … [Read more...]

“The Teachers are Getting Younger…”

  So far, we’re about half way through the program, and it has been GREAT! Drew, my co-worker, and I have been distributing survey questions through phone calls and home-visits to our families from Allenbrook Elementary. It is astonishing how much passion some of our parents express about their child’s education once they are asked the right questions. Our survey questions have a heavy focus on the communication that happens between parents and teachers for one main reason: teachers are the face of education. Students see their teachers every day, and sometimes even more than they see their own guardians. Teachers are the face of education for parents as well as the liaison between the school and home. In most cases, parents are going to reach out to their child’s teachers first … [Read more...]

Small Classes, Big Ideas

This summer, I have had the privilege of working with the Youth Development Initiative (YDI is an organization that helps at-risk youth develop life skills through an in depth curriculum that focuses on personalized education). I say privilege not only because of the tremendous staff and mission of the organization but also because of the incredible projects that I have been assigned to, as well as assigned myself. I’ve done the whole gamut, from collecting data on social skills to going on work site observations for the participants of the program whom we match with a work site over the summer. This Wednesday, July 2nd, though, I was given yet another incredible opportunity. Four of the participants of the program were matched with a worksite for an organization that did not need … [Read more...]