In what ways does creating a movement to gather and deliver goods to homeless, whilst gathering local skateboarders effect the point of view on homeless people and skaters in Milwaukee.


Problem Statement: According to The National Alliance to Help Homeless, there are around 6,000 homeless people in Milwaukee as of 2015. It’s common that they lack proper hygiene supplies or the adequate clothing to get them through the harsh Wisconsin winter.  Additionally, people often consider skateboarders as loiterers or vandals, and there’s overall a bad rep for both skaters and homeless, so I decided to tie my project around improving people’s perspective on both.

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Thesis Description: In an effort to improve people’s point of view on skateboaP1030134.JPGrders in Milwaukee, I gathered groups of skateboarders to host an events where we went on runs to deliver goods to homeless. This was in the form of care packages of hygiene and warm clothes in the fall and spring, that were collected over the span of a month. I also documented this by taking pictures and collecting data on how many
items we’ve given out. I shared this via social media to encourage a greater turnout. We will also be recording and editing our skate runs to make into a pretty neat video.

Methodology/Actions:  I will conduct a pre survey to see what people initially think about Milwaukee’s homeless and skating community, and see how they feel after the event. I tracked the amount of people at the event to see if there’s an increase in popularity, and interviewed people to see how they felt about making a positive impact to our community.

Community Impact: This project will impact how people feel about Milwaukee’s homeless population showing that all people deserve to be hygienic, regardless of their socioeconomic class. It will also change people’s perceptions of skaters by showing that they are not always up to no good, or loitering on private property.  Finally, it will address our school’s sustainability theme of Empathy, Gratitude and Hope by skateboarders are positive contributors to society. Overall, I hope this project will help people empathize for the homeless refrain from passing judgement.

Literature Sited:

Wisconsin’s State of Homelessness Annual Report:

The State of Homeless in America 2015:

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How will activating a local park affect youth’s health and motivation to go outside and play.

By: Josue Galicia

Problem Statement: There is now more vacant lots in Milwaukee than ever. There is also many organizations helping turn those lots into pockets parks or community gardens the problem is that teens are more socially involved rather than participating physically.


Thesis Description: What I worked on was helping to transform Arlington Heights Park into a soccer/football field where the community and nearby schools could go play or practice. The way I did this was by meeting with several organizations like Layton Blvd West and Reflow to help me create a design and funding for the project.


Methodology/ Actions: At the beginning of the year, we worked with Milwaukee’s Common Council to help make Arlington heights Park MKE Plays first playground project I met with Brianna from Layton Blvd West and Justin from Reflo to talk about fundings and how we could include green infrastructure and using rainwater from the 35th St. bridge to create and support a sustainable rain garden. I also took basic classes for google sketchup which helped me create a field design for Arlington Heights Park. I also started Escuela Verde’s first Soccer team. I am currently contacting with the city of Milwaukee and Milwaukee Kickers to try to get full sized goals in Arlington Heights Park.


Community Impact: Before Coming to Escuela Verde no student went to or knew about Arlington Heights park, but after a month of attending that number quickly rose. Once the field is constructed it will bring schools and the community closer by having a public field where everyone of all ages will be welcomed and local teams can practice. This will also help decrease Silver City’s crime rate at and around the park.

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Title: How does Learning Sense Of Place with Environmental Issues Affect Urban Youth’s willingness to participate with The Environment.                       

Problem Statement: Students have lost a sense of place in our natural world. From this the problems that the Earth currently face are increasing, because of lack of new ideas and students with minimal knowledge about how they can help their environment and how it affects them.

Thesis Description: My project is seeing if getting students back into nature will nurture a sense of place. The independent variables is if getting them in nature will change their outlook on the natural world and how they can protect it. The dependent variable will be Screen Shot 2016-05-19 at 11.05.39 AM.pngthat over the course of this project students will change how they feel about natural world.

Methodology/ Actions: Presented in front of my school of a 110 students about my role as a leader and role model at the Urban Ecology Center as a Outdoor Leader and, I guided 13 students on a snake board walk through Menomonee Valley (Three Bridges Park). I created the field research teams backpacks, while participating and leading research surveys as a part of my project. Created a river survey workshop to teach the importance of environmental conservation and awareness for our local waters and land, while teaching birding basics, and invertebrate identification; From there I completed a citizen science  summer internship at the Urban Ecology Center, doing animal research and monitoring and, leading students on snake surveys through Three Bridges Park. I then talked to several advisors from Escuela Verde, and researchers from the Urban Ecology Center to help formulate ideas for a workshop to highlight my Senior Thesis.


Implications: This project addresses the current need of diversity in our natural word. This project touches home with me because it is a daily thing I face in field in which I work and would like my career to be. As a scientist I would love to see diversity in this field and no scientist ever said diversity is bad for a system.


Community Impact: With the data collected at this moment I can’t determine how it has impacted the community yet. By the the end of the year I should have all the information I need  to determine the impact.


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Graph # 1 shows that 84% of the students at EV identify as Latino.

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Graph # 2 shows how EV students view nature .  Students view nature in many different ways.  

Reflection:  I can conclude that urban students need encouragement from a mentor to push them toward the idea and concept of a Sense Of Place. This is especially important because 84% of the population in EV is Latino, and a 100% of these student live in the city. I feel as though there is a need to get them more involved in their Community, and I firmly believe that students who are more aware and actively involved in the social and environmental issues; and when they learn the value of   themselves they will become good land stewards  of their community which will allow them to enjoy the fruits of their labor.  Now you ask what can others do? As students read this (teachers & parents included) make a vow to get out into nature and be stewards of the land. The reason I say teachers and parents are students, is because you can never know everything. We must all have a learner’s mind when it comes to creating a world that has a Sense of Place.


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The Effects of a New Way to Learn Math on Urban Students Enjoyment of Math

We are posting our 2016 seniors’ theses to our blog in order to showcase their work. Today’s comes from Lucia Galindo.Lucia

Evidence of Need:

I chose this topic because math is important even though most urban youth don’t like it. In fact, I don’t even like math! I am not alone, in fact most urban youth perceive themselves as bad in math. According to Flores (2007) “Specifically, data show that African American, Latino, and low-income students are less likely to have access to experienced and qualified teachers, more likely to face low expectations, and less likely to receive equitable per student funding,” (p.29). A lot of our students come to school already behind in math.

Next, most Latinos score lower in math than their white counterparts. According to Claudia Galindo and Sean F. Reardon (2009) “Students with Mexican and Central American origins – particularly first – and second- generation immigrants- and those from homes where English is not spoken have the lowest math and reading skill levels at kindergarten entry but show the greatest achievement gains in the early years of schooling,” (p.853). This is important because 84% of Escuela Verde’s student population is Latino.


This school year, one of our neighbors, Grace Cord, began volunteering to teach a new way to learn math. We created three math classes that were optional for students to sign up for. Grace also set up time for tutoring in math. I attended the first math class during the third quarter with some of my friends.


We wanted to see how students felt about math and to see where they were at in math. In particular, we wanted to see if there was a difference between students who took the math class and didn’t take the math class.

  1. Students took a pre/post STAR math test
  2. Students took a survey to see if they signed up for math class. The survey questions were:
  • Did you join a math group?
  • How do you feel being in a math group?
  • If you didn’t join a math group why not?
  • Are these math groups helpful to you?
  1. I will interview some students who took the math class at the end of the Ocho.


math survey chart

This chart shows the results of how good people think they are in math. As you can see, 47.4% of people think they are pretty good in math. 34.2% of the people dont think they good in math. And, 10.5% strongly disagree that they are good in math. 7.9% strongly agree that they are good.


I’ve heard that males are better in math than females.This chart shows that more females signed up for math class than males. Maybe the guys didn’t sign up because they think they are better in math than the girls. I would like to compare the average males and females scores to see.



This chart shows that of the 68 students that did not take the math class, their STAR math test scores actually went down. We will be taking another STAR math test this week so I can compare all the results.

Community Impact:

   This impacted the school by offering math groups to the students who were really interested in getting better at math and improve their math skills. Others might have joined to catch up with what they need to know in math.

I joined a math group instead of working independently on math class because it has less people and it is way more easier to concentrate. The teacher can actually go around to help each one of us.

Reflection: I am not sure yet how the independent variable impacted the dependent variable because we are still working on getting more information on the tests more results to put everything together and work on it till the end of the year. What I can do to keep my research going is to keep offering these math classes or one-on-one tutoring with Grace to see if this is actually working for those that want to get better in math and have better math skills.

Literature cited:

Flores, Alfinio. “Examining disparities in mathematics education: achievement gap or opportunity gap?.” The High School Journal 91.1 (2007):29-42

Reardon, Sean F. , and Claudia Galindo. “ The Hispanic-White achievement gap in math and reading in the elementary grades.” American Educational Research Journal 46.3 (2009): 853-891

For further information:




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2015-2016 Senior Thesis: Kashwanda Hathaway

We are posting our seniors’ theses to our blog in order to showcase their work. Today’s comes from Kashwanda Hathaway:

Title: The Effects Of Emotional Health Workshops On Teens’ Mental Health

Problem Statement: The problem I’m addressing is teens and adults don’t knScreen Shot 2016-05-12 at 10.55.56 AM.pngow how to deal with their emotional problems in a healthy way.

Thesis Description: My independent variables are what ways do workshops and educational groups affects teens and adults who don’t know how to deal with emotional health . I will address this problem by starting a workshop to help talk about emotional and the way to deal with it health. I also will address this problem by researching about the effects of holding in your emotions.  Next, I will have a live speaker come in with different ways to show affection. finally,I will bring an open confidential support group for Escuela Verde and the community.

Methodology: I will measure my change by taking a presurvey and after some of the support groups take another survey to see what changed. I will also measure change by how many people show up and is willing to participate.

Implications: People don’t know how to deal with their emotional health. I think the way people deal with their feelings will change and how they handle different things. This project will also address the sustainable empathy , gratitude, and hope and  multiple perspectives.

Action: I started 3 different workshops called Healthy Girls, Safe Dates, and Girls Empowerment.  Healthy Girls was with Diverse and Resilient , I helped co-host. We talked about how to protect our bodies from diseases and how to point out red flags.  Safe Dates was also with the organization Diverse and Resilient. In this workshop we learned more red flags about dating someone, and also how to deal with relationship problems in good ways.  Girls Empowerment we talked as a group about different problems we have or questions we don’t feel comfortable asking others. It was an open confidential support group.

Community Impact:  Healthy Girls provided a confidential support group for 15 girls that usually don’t talk with each other that allowed them to talk about how to protect our bodies and how to prevent diseases.  Safe Dates impact the school by teaching us about red flags in relationship.  The organization we worked with was Diverse and Resilient.  These workshops impact  Diverse and Resilient because they saw how interested the girls from Escuela Verde were, also they noticed how the girls changed. I also noticed that I impacted Diverse and Resilient because they offered me a job with their organization and noticed my effort in making a change and getting the girls from my school educated when it comes to relationships.

Here are some of the comments how some of the students were affect.  Carlos said Girls Empowerment impacted him, “As a result I am able to understand other females and relate to them like I am a transgender female.”   An anonymous student said  “ I love being in this wellness. I have learned a lot of new things and became more comfortable with the topics we talked about and the girls who are part of Girls Empowerment.” Anonymous said, “I think girls empowerment has changed me , I have improved on myself. I’m able to listen and share my thoughts.”


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Reflection: I had workshops and educational groups that affected teens and adults who gained knowledge on how to deal with their emotional and healthy relationships. My goal with these workshops were to help change how people dealt with certain situations relevant to their emotional health and their  relationships in general. During these workshops people learned how to control the way they react to different situations, how to value themselves, how to express their feelings, how to accept advice, and how to sexually protect themselves. Learning these skills had a positive impact on teens mental health. There are several different ways I could have changed my workshops to increase results. I would have had my workshops more planned out with lesson plans about how to control behavior problems. and how to keep calm  . I plan on countering my research by presenting at Teen Summit and having a future career in counseling.

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Conflict Lunches: Serving culture, homemade with love

A jar was floating from hand to hand while they took a deep breath, eyes closed— “Tell me the first thing that comes to your mind…”

This is magic!

MmMm… Sweet, spicy

Can I eat this?!

Cardamom was one of many spices that the Spicy Freekeh Soup recipe called for, but one that the students had not experienced before; such was the case with all-(not old)-spice. After getting a glimpse of this traveling spice and its rich heritage, it made sense that cardamom had made its way into this Palestinian dish along with the green and smoky wheat kernels and oodles of other spices. We had spent thirty minutes talking about a Palestinian recipe that came from a book titled Jerusalem and there had been no mention of war, violence, or terrorism—the topic on the table was culture and we just wanted to taste it.

Conflict Lunch

Escuela Verde’s Just Roots workshop has just launched what they are calling Conflict Lunches: once a week, we talk about a country which is experiencing some sort of conflict and which culture is eclipsed by the different public notions of their political and social climate. We experience this same culture in the kitchen and share it with the rest of the school as an option during lunch time.

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We know  that the food we eat is the purest expression of who we are. What is your signature comfort food? How does that dish tell the tale of who you are, where you came from, and what happened along the way? Imagine how that dish could change if you allowed your palate to travel down a different isle? Would you dare make new friends from that side of the world? Would you gain different perspectives in the process?

We sure hope our students choose to experience the world,

one dish at a time.


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2014-2015 Senior Thesis: Humberto Maciel

We are posting our seniors’ theses to our blog in order to showcase their work. Today’s comes from Humberto Maciel: 

Title: In what ways does having youth art shown in a public space affect young people’s self-confidence?DSCN0087

Problem Statement: Young people need a place to showcase their art. Most art galleries in Milwaukee are run by adults and show art created by adults. Young people need to see other youth taking part in art galleries. It will inspire youth at a young age that art is for everyone no matter what age.

Thesis description: Young people need access to display art in art galleries that support artists who aren’t weathy and aren’t yet famous. I am going to create a gallery space by students for students. This space will be in the front area of our new school building. I will bring more confidence to students by giving them a place to showcase their art.

Methodology: I will interview/survey youth to see how they feel about youth art in Milwaukee. I will ask older people how they feel about young people’s art in galleries. I will ask art galleries in Milwaukee if they showcase youth art. I will work with a community art gallery to design our new school’s gallery space.

Implications: More young people will be inspired to display their art in galleries. They will feel confident in sharing and displaying their art.

Implications: By proving the relationship between arts and crafts to stress levels, I may help improve funding for art programs in schools.

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