Week 1 of the Inaugural Incubator Fellowship was filled with laughter, hard work, joy and discoveries. Our four Innovation Fellows teamed up with the power of the Brain Trust Fellows to discover real "pain points," or challenges, in KCMO public education. Each team began with a hypothesis of a current challenge that exists in KCMO education, and then was tasked to conduct 25 interviews with community members, students, parents, and teachers in KCMO to validate (or invalidate) their hypotheses. Only once a challenge was validated were fellows granted access to begin building innovative solutions.
Week 1 ended with the following discoveries:
Trauma Sensitive Schools (TSS), led by Beth Sarver
Problem: Trauma in schools is triggering the stress response in teachers due to a lack of trust.
Potential Solution: Professional development program focused on the opportunity to practice mindfulness, collaboration, and built-in support/follow up.
ELL Processing, led by Aditya Voleti
Problem: Teachers have a lack of relevant cultural data to accurately respond to their ELL students' needs.
Potential Solution: A more robust assessment system that accounts for cultural and personal background information, along with academic placement.
Women of Color, led by Cecilia Belser-Patton
Problem: Young females of color in the urban core lack an avenue to give voice to, and develop, their identities.
Potential Solution: A peer-to-peer mentoring program that builds resilience and support from within the young girls' communities.
Access to Opportunities for Urban Youth, led by Lynessa Cook
Problem: Young adults lack needed skills for success in the current job market.
Potential Solution: Building a network of businesses within the urban core that open their doors to students after school in order to provide them the space to witness and learn basic job-readiness.