"The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.
" Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1947)
Given the challenges that we face, we believe that youth have the creative energy and innovative ideas needed for investigating, developing, implementing, and evaluating asset-based solutions that address concerns in our communities.
The YOUExplore framework is grounded in the student voice framework and undergirded in the culturally sustaining pedagogies ideology. Both philosophies are centered on the idea that youth voices and experiences matter and must be at the forefront of educational and social change practices.
With the aim of teaching youth to "think intensively and critically," and to activate their energies towards effectuating change in our communities, YOUExplore focuses on 7 core areas of development:
- Academic and Career Planning
- Critical Thinking
- Community Building
- Problem Solving
Through partnerships with PK-20 educators and community, civic, and corporate leaders, YOUExplore engages youth in research based Academic Service Learning (ASL) activities that activate students' voices on issues that matter to them.
Recent projects include
- YOUExplore 2021: Lessons Learned During the COVID-19 Pandemic
- Education Equity and Innovation: A Womanist Perspective
- Education Equity, Innovation, Anime and Leadership (Summer 2021)
- Perceptions of Youth: Diving Into 2020
- Youth Voices During Two Pandemics: COVID-19 and Black Lives Matter in Summer 2020
- Focus on Equity in Education: Building on All Voices During a Pandemic
- 2021 YOUExplore Junior Researchers
- Shayla Card-Nowlin
- Camille Hansberry
- Charles Lindsey, Jr.
- Adam Mayberry
- Sarah Wheat