This episode features a conversation with Kiana Dixon and Janikaa Jackson. Kiana and Janikaa are students at Brooklyn College in Brooklyn, New York and are alumni of the Peer Group Connection (PGC) program offered by the Center for Supportive Schools (CSS). PGC positions upper class-men and women in high school to mentor incoming 9th graders transitioning into high school from middle school. They are both now consultants with CSS, helping develop new programming and curriculum, and providing professional learning for educators on practices that incorporate authentic student voice.
Kiana, Janikaa and Jason talk about their own middle school years and their experience being bullied, their transition into high school and finding their own path, and details of their work as upper class women mentoring incoming freshmen and women and the impact having a mentor has on young adolescents transitioning from middle school. They also touch upon their experience as consultants with CSS, developing a youth advisory board to amplify youth voice, developing accessible programming during the pandemic, providing professional development to teachers and helping them make adjustments to their curriculum to align with student needs, and what they think works best to keep students engaged; plus, Kiana and Janikaa reveal what they see for their own futures.
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