Auto Corrected Discrimination in Milwaukee

by Alejandro Arias, 10th grade


I was on google the other day and my advisor asked to look up information about the “south side” of Milwaukee. So I type it up and…

Just as I finish the last letter , Google auto fills the rest of my search to “places to avoid” and “crime rates”.

Upon clicking on one of the top hits…

I find a blog where people post questions about the neighborhoods in my city. According to this site, each of the major neighborhoods in Milwaukee can be reduced to a misinformed, discriminatory descriptor. It was all just really discriminatory things such as calling the entire Bayview area “gay” and honestly i can’t believe someone  would do something like that, I mean sure these are his opinions but that is a lot of generalization right there. I’m sure they probably don’t even know anyone there.

What I also think is upsetting is that just looking up Sherman Park gives you a related search of the worst neighborhoods in milwaukee and i think that’s just unfair.

Why do you think this is? What are we doing to feed this data to google? I’d love to hear your thoughts!


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A Restaurant on the south side you should check out!

by Cristian Jimenez, 7th grade


Source: Article by Shepherd Express

La isla is the restaurant you should check out. It is a Puerto Rican restaurant. I like it a lot. The busiest time is around 12:00 in the afternoon.

They have traditional Puerto Rican fare but also vegetarian options too. They have lots of options to pick I recommend the stuffed potato it is a potato with ground beef in the middle.

Also, La Isla is safe. There are cameras everywhere so if there was any crime they would have videos of the crime. La Isla has never been robbed before.

La Isla has a three star rating on Yelp. According to this source 2 out of 5 people will not have a good time at la isla. However, the restaurant has been under new administration for 4 months and I had the opportunity to meet with the new owner who is very nice and is a good listener. The employees are really nice and good listeners too. La Isla has been open for five years.

I recommend checking it out.

La Isla address: 3500 w. National Ave.

Phone number:(414)882-7003

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An insider’s perspective of Milwaukee’s South Side

by Luna Carranza, 7th grade


My advisory this month was working on how the south side is being showed as a bad place on the news when we turn on the tv to news or the news we hear from other people. We also hear negative comments from people who want to visit the neighborhood- how they are scared because all they hear is bad things that happen. We are trying to show people how it’s not a bad place, as some sources make it look like.
I feel like there is violence everywhere in the world but, from living here, I think my neighborhood is safe.Yes, anything can happen but when I go to bed I sleep in peace and wake up in peace. Once in a while there’s a party next door or you hear the police pass by but Ive never seen anything serious- it could be that we are just staying ready for anything, just like other places .

I wonder what other people think in our neighborhood? What do people think when you talk about the south side?

This place is amazing don’t always focus on that bad little parts of it. I believe instead of judging this south side place why don’t we make it a better place .

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Help us send 10 students to Costa Rica in May 2017

We’re giving ten Escuela Verde students a bilingual, bicultural experience with an eight-day trip to Costa Rica. They’ll learn about sustainability efforts throughout the country, from the Caribbean Sea to the Pacific Ocean, taking their new knowledge back home to make a difference in Milwaukee.

Below you’ll find out more about each student through their personal statements. To contribute, go to and make a tax-deductible donation between now and January 31, 2016.

Yamile Salgado

My name is Yamile Salgado and I am a student at Escuela Verde. This is my first year attending EV and so far it’s been pretty groovy. I’ve gained many great skills from my experiences at EV & developed a huge passion for nature. In the future I hope to become a wildlife expert & share my experiences with my friends and family.

I’ve only traveled once in an airplane and it was frightening. Going somewhere far from where you live can be a little nerve-wracking but I hope to travel a lot so I aim to get used to it. Traveling can be a great experience for the future and it would be super exciting to be able to travel with friends.

I know that there can be many problems that may come up but I will work hard to be prepared for them. Before the Costa Rica trip I will be going on a backpacking course for a month and I hope that will help me with any issues involving the hiking part of the trip. Reading over the things that we will be doing while in Costa Rica makes me thrilled and animated to put in effort into getting in. Especially being able to go zip lining! Over all the Escuela Verde 2017 Costa Rica trip might be a once in a lifetime type of thing that I would desire to take part in.

Joselyn Arreguin

My name is Joselyn Arreguin, and I attend 10th grade at Escuela Verde. I’m a latina originally born in Chicago, and I moved to Milwaukee when I was four years old. I am very passionate about Mexican culture and art!  I collaborated and took part in our art galleries here in Escuela Verde last year. Painting and drawing is a good way for me to express myself freely. I love everything about it. Even though I have so much to learn, I still manage to keep up. I consider myself a helpful, reliable, observant and independent person.

I hope I gain a lot of influence in this trip, meet a new perspective, and gain knowledge about Costa Rica. The activities that I would imagine us doing is going on hikes, visiting really interesting places, meeting new people, and witnessing a whole new environment. We may predict some challenges and feel overwhelmed at some point but with communication and an open mind we will get through those stressful moments. I set high expectations for myself and will continue to carry these expectations when working with this group.

Traveling for me would be the best gift to receive from Escuela Verde. I have always wanted to travel, meet new places and feel infinite! This is a huge opportunity that I am receiving from EV and I’m willing to commit and participate till the end of the trip. I would be very appreciative of any donations by anyone who is willing to help with our trip to Costa Rica. This is one of my dreams/goals in life and meeting this dream at a young age is rare.

Diana Diaz

My name is Diana Diaz. I am a 9th grader at Escuela Verde. I have been at Escuela Verde since 7th grade, and I plan to graduate from EV. I have always enjoyed EV because they let us work on the things we love doing and let us be very creative. I enjoy making others laugh and making them feel comfortable. I like meeting new people and learning about them. I’m very open about anything and it’s not hard for me to talk to someone. Once I meet them I make sure they don’t feel uncomfortable.  

I like skating! I also love traveling. My family and I always travel to Mexico. I am really looking forward to this Costa Rica trip.

I love exploring new places and experiencing new things: different types of foods, culture, and the surroundings. I travel a lot with my parents because they also experiencing new things and going back to where they grew up. I really enjoy it and love the weather especially, because it’s not the same as the weather where I live. I feel more relaxed and calm when I go to different places. The food is also different when I travel to mexico; I think it tastes more authentic than the food here in Milwaukee. The culture is also very different; it’s very open and welcoming. The people are great too – they’re very open, nice, and creative because they have nice surroundings. I am looking forward to this Costa Rica trip. I can’t wait to explore new things and see a different type of nature, foods and people.  I am ready for this trip!

Diya Noble

My name is Diya Noble, and I am a sophomore at Escuela Verde. I have been at EV since 7th grade, and plan to graduate from there as well. I am active in the school community, and participate in the Youth Activists and GSA workshops every quarter. In my free time, I write short stories and create art. A goal I have for the future is to become a published author.

I have always been interested in exploring the world. Because I have family in northern India, I’ve flown to the Himalayas twice since I was a kid. I love gaining new experiences and knowledge through traveling, trying local food, and meeting new people. I think that it’s important to be immersed in cultures that you didn’t grow up in, because this process gives you perspective on the world. I have never been to Central America or been in anything like a rainforest before, so I am thrilled about the opportunity to travel to Costa Rica next year.

Miyona Malone

My name is Miyona Malone, I am a sophomore attending Escuela Verde. This being my first year at Escuela Verde, I’ve decided EV is where I’d like to graduate. As a student I enjoy wellness, where my peers and I can enjoy the outdoors. Reading is also an interest of mine and I can enjoy doing so in reading groups.

I share many passions and interests both academic and recreational. As a student in high school, I enjoy math, reading, and English. As far as my future, I plan on acclaiming a degree in music and Biomedical engineering. When becoming a college student, my focus has been on attending John Hopkins University to pursue my Biomedical engineering degree and I would like to commit to the University of North Texas College of Music to receive a degree in music. In pastime, I enjoy volunteering at Luther Manor, a nursing home in my neighborhood, and attending Milwaukee Children’s Choir. I also revel in reading and playing volleyball to consume my time.

Having the opportunity to visit a completely different civilization is especially exciting because, one can learn about the lives and habitats of people, animals and the nature in Costa Rica. Hiking is a huge sector of what one will experience on this trip, as well as a large culture change, different lifestyles of teens in Costa Rica than my peers and I.   

Sara Lopez

My name is Sara Lopez, and I’m a student at Escuela Verde. It’s my first year at the school and I hope to stay here until I graduate in 2019. My favorite workshops currently are GSA and Youth Activists because I’m passionate about equal rights. My biggest life goals are to make a career in music and travel the world.

I think it’s exciting when you get an opportunity like this, to go out of the country and see things you’ve never seen before with the school. I’ve always wanted travel the world. Even as a kid I knew that I was going to travel and see things I’ve never seen. When I start my career in music, I hope to go on tours and things like that so I can see new places and to get a taste of it now would be an amazing experience. I also love knowing cultural things about different places. I think it’s interesting to think about what other people in different cultures do everyday that would be irregular to us.

When I heard that we’re going to go hiking and see how beautiful the country is, and go eat new foods, I was really excited because even now I get excited when I go to the Indian restaurant down the street from my house. But, one of the challenges I’m going to have when we go is the Spanish. I understand Spanish, but when I speak Spanish it has to be basic because I’ve spoken English for a majority of my life. Overall, I’m very excited about going to Costa Rica, seeing a new country, getting some extra experience, and getting a taste of my future in this trip.

Marlenny Vargas

My name is Marlenny Vargas and I am a freshman at Escuela Verde, I enjoy nature and camping. I am also a passionate activist for social justice, I feel very strong about the feminist movement and I spend time during school to talk about my opinions with my peers during Youth Activists and Girls Empowerment. I love cosmetics such as makeup but plan on becoming a surgeon in the future. Currently my goal is to graduate high school and attend short makeup lessons.

 I have not yet traveled out of the states, however I want to expand my horizons. I want to understand and experience new cultures, traditions, and nature. Nature has a great positive impact on my emotional being because it causes me to feel content and at peace. I also have dreamed of what it would feel to travel, to be able to meet and interact with people you wouldn’t even think of meeting, just because it’s such a different place and people have different styles and personalities. I know traveling may bring some challenges because of the different foods,  weather, languages, and customs and traditions.

Specifically, traveling to Costa Rica in 2017 makes me feel a little anxious, because I speak Spanish but the way it is spoken there it totally different, and it will be difficult to understand what people say. What makes me excited though is the food, culture, nature, hiking, and getting closer to my peers and advisors because building friendships is always something positive for someone’s life. I love water, and getting in the water mostly in hot weather like Costa Rica’s and visiting the Fortuna Waterfall and the Pacific Ocean would be perfect! Hopefully this trip will inspire others to go out and try to enjoy the amazing nature there is around the world.

Justice Grant

My name is Justice Grant. I’m a 15 year-old student at Escuela Verde and I’m in 10th grade. I’ve been a student at EV for two years now, and plan on doing my 11th and 12th grade years here. I’m into photography and computer animation, I love to take photos of  nature and the environment. I love to go to new places to take pictures and get a new perspective on the community and environment I’m in.

I base my travel and exploration on things and cultures that interest me, so I can learn more on that subject. I’m anxious about a trip to Costa Rica or a new place in general, but i’m excited of all the new knowledge it will bring. I’ve gone on a variety of trips but none out of the United States and to another country. I see myself embracing the area i’m in while being as in tune with it as possible and gaining a new perspective.

I’m excited for the journey we are taking and I’m trying to get in better shape for all the backpacking and hiking we’ll be doing on the trip. Also getting better equipment to take pictures of the adventure and to protect my camera and its accessories. The wildlife there is nothing like Wisconsin and I’m excited to see them.

Marysol Bermudes

I am a 17 year old Latina artist. I am currently a student at Escuela Verde. I have attended Escuela Verde for 3 years now. I love painting, spending time outside, fighting for social justice and trying new things! I enjoy traveling and getting out of my comfort zone. I love being a student at Escuela Verde because they give me support and encouragement to do the things I love. I am an aspiring artist and business owner.

I love traveling to new places – there is so much to discover! I want to travel and view life through a different perspective. Going to Costa Rica will definitely be a life changing experience! I want to learn about their culture, food, everything! I am very excited about seeing Costa Rica’s Rainforest. This will be our first ever international trip and I’m glad to be part of it.  I hope to gain inspiration for my art in Costa Rica.

Henry Colon-Vega

My name is Henry Colon-Vega and I go to Escuela Verde. I am in 10th grade, and this is my third year at EV. I expect to graduate in June 2018. Academically, I’m especially interested in Automobile Engineer and, am currently working on projects to develop my understanding of the field. I’m also involved in workshops like bilingual education, math, and Youth Activists. A goal I’m currently working on is to become a successful man in the future.

I like to travel and explore other places because it’s somewhere I have never been before and it’s something new. There are many things in this world I have never seen, especially other art, music, food, the way people, live, and their history. Also it’s different how other people live and the climate is different from Wisconsin. It’s challenging because there will be things I won’t know or understand, but I can also learn something new.

I am excited to be traveling to Costa Rica with Escuela Verde. This trip will be an opportunity for me to learn more about their history, art, music, food, the way they live, and the difference of the climate. I will also be able to personally challenge myself to learn more about their culture. I am looking forward to finding and buying things from Costa Rica and to be able to explain what I learned from the trip. I am ready for the challenge of Escuela Verde’s Study Abroad Program’s Costa Rica 2017 Trip.

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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.

graphgraph 2

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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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