March 19, 2021

YOR Thought Leadership Series: How Whole Communities Can and Should Address Education Inequities

Jacob Smith

On Friday, 3/12, we sat down for a conversation with Youth on Record's Program Directors and Board Vice President to share their observations at the one-year COVID-19 mark, and make recommendations about how to best reach and teach our young people.

Key Recommendations:

  1. The current academic calendar is based on agrarian/agricultural roots. Continue to engage in conversations on creating a calendar to support financial, academic, and societal expectations
  2. Bring supportive services (student life, peer support, mental health, housing, etc.) for those not attending college into community education programs post-high-school.
  3. Create space for young people to be their own experts, leaders and decision-makers for their own educational experience.
  4. Summer school needs to be re-defined, creative and adapted to the needs of the community in tandem with community partnership collaboration.


We want to believe the kids are alright? Are they? What are you seeing?

Our students have been sort of living under the boot heel of white supremacy and patriarchy before COVID, which requires that they be incredibly strong and resilient to sort of make it through each day with some semblance of self intact. If by our right we mean thriving, I think that depends. In a lot of ways less so, but in some ways more so, you know COVID made it a lot more difficult to access those supportive resources that do exist for our students outside of their home which they could really depend on, you know like our programs Youth on Record other out of school programs Boys and Girls Club, you know, so it's like they're paddling sort of upstream in the first place.”

- Brent Adams


“I think the epidemic has brought an opportunity for education to change the way it's doing things. And I also think that it is also shown that teaching is hard, and I think a lot of parents out there will definitely support that idea, so hopefully with all that in mind, we can re-imagine what education can be for all students.”

- Ron Gallardo

COVID-19 Year in Review - Key Takeaways