We believe that change happens inside out. In order to improve our communities and institutions, we must first examine and improve ourselves.  

Core Competencies

When the Student Voice Collaborative program began, we asked a number of well-respected education officials, former high school student organizers, and founding SVC members: "What skills and attributes do effective community leaders share?"  The results we gathered now serve as the core competencies that we strive to foster each time we meet: 

1. Speaking and Listening
2. Building Relationships
3. Collaborating and Organizing

4. Developing an Inclusive Vision

5. Conducting Sound Research

6. Managing a Campaign

7. Solving Problems Fairly and Flexibly

8. Understanding the Inner-Workings of Schools and School System

9. Leveraging Personal Strengths, Working on Personal Challenges

10. Advocating for Self and Others

Skill-Building Activities

SVC reinforces the above core competencies -- at our weekly meetings, on trips, at conferences and retreats -- through a number of routines and regular activities, including:

• Sharing stories and experiences

• Facilitating Discussion/Debate

• Team-Building

• Self-Reflection

• Collaborative Problem-Solving/Decision-Making

• Peer Education/Conducting Workshops

Writing exercises

• Delivering presentations

Writing exercises

• Immersion in School/School System Affairs

• Conducting Research

Considering multiple perspectives

• Examining policies and considering implications

• Planning meetings and school campaigns

• Taking on key roles and responsibilities

• Goal-setting and monitoring

• Exploring interests and passions

Improving Our Selves