Seven years ago, with hopes of generating a wave of student-led school improvement, the NYC DOE launched the Student Voice Collaborative (SVC) program. SVC brings together public high school students from 10 north Brooklyn high schools to effect the sorts of change they want to see in their schools and support one another along the way. The Student Voice Collaborative empowers students to improve themselves and their schools together.
As part of the program, SVC members conduct comprehensive studies of their schools, identify relevant challenges, and implement student-led school improvement programs in partnership with staff and students. Through the process, they build more democratic systems and structures that ensure youth voice. Participating schools also pair up, based upon common needs and interests, and take part in a series of inter-visitations through which they learn and grow with and from one another.
SVC members regularly demonstrate how students can uniquely inspire change when afforded opportunities to lead -– motivating students to step up and adults to make room at the table.