All PLACE programs look at community through the social equity lens to make sure students learn how to include all perspectives, and particularly those traditionally sidelined in public discourse, in understanding our communities. It is imperative that students learn to see all perspectives on an issue to make informed, credible decisions.
All PLACE programs consist of three fundamental curricular aspects:
One main goal is for students to gain more insight into systems, history, and their communities as a framework for understanding other communities as they grow up, go to college, and become leaders. It is empowering to understand where you live and how to navigate it.
For me, PLACE is about engaging with new communities and individuals - it allows me to connect, inspire, and learn. PLACE offers the resources I need to make change.
We teach leadership through team concepts, working with students to understand their own personal strengths and weaknesses, how to identify strengths and weaknesses in others, and how to work with people from a diversity of backgrounds to achieve common goals. Students practice leadership in small groups, large groups, and with external, public audience.
PLACE to me is an opportunity for individuals who are uncertain about leadership, to assume roles as leaders in a comfortable environment.
Students work together to create community events, recommendations for clients, and/or youth peer-to-peer opportunities.
We prioritize skill building and relationships over content. We are deluged with studies and articles that show the importance of soft skills in being employable and we hone in on those. Collaboration, supportive team building, listening, etc.
PLACE: a program that changed my perspective on the city of Portland, and opened my eyes to a world of injustice needing to be changed… also fun!