A very interesting video on the Diversity Discovery class is here:
Before reading further you may want to read Why the Self-Discovery Class?
Youth Discovery Inc. has spent over $700,000 during the last six years to help educate Latino and minority youth. The Diversity Discovery Class is currently being developed to be taught in 8th through 12th grades in order to reach our goal of reducing minority high school drop-out rates by half, and increasing the graduation rate from trade schools and universities by two to three times the current level. If current trends continue, of the 60 million Latino youth that will go through American schools between now and 2050, only 13%, or 8 million, will go on to higher education. Our goal is to see 16-24 million of these youth obtain some form of advanced education. For more information, see
Youth Discovery Inc. needs volunteers to help write lesson plans for the Diversity Discovery classes and donations to pay professional educators to review these lesson plans and to prepare qualitative and quantitative statistical analysis on the performance of the classes.
The Latino student population in Cache Valley, Utah, and across the US is on the rise and will approach 50% of all students within a few decades. These Latino students are vastly under-performing in essentially every measure of educational achievement, including reading levels, math levels, grades, attendance, ACT scores, dropout rate, university enrollment and graduation.
There are many factors contributing to this under-achievement, but perhaps the greatest is the “mindset” of the Latino students. They simply do not think they can achieve or excel, so “why try?”
Latinos In Action, LIA, is an innovative program developed 10 years ago in Orem, Utah, and has made great strides in raising the mindset and performance of Latino students. It trains high school students to tutor younger students, and then busses them to an elementary school where they help the younger students with homework. This helps the high school students by enhancing their self-confidence and increasing their self-expectation.
The two biggest hurdles faced by Latinos In Action are the cost of busing the high school students to the elementary school, and coordinating schedules between the two schools. Due to these problems, a given high school will only offer LIA to a limited number of its students, usually one class, which is often as little as 10% of the Latino population. Finally, the LIA students have very little opportunity to learn how to navigate the American educational system.
After school programs are very helpful, but for various reasons they are utilized by only a small minority of the students that need it. The biggest reason is that the Latino students need to go home to babysit while their mother goes to work, or for similar reasons at home. Another reason is that by the end of the day, they have had enough of school.
Diversity Discovery is a proposed new curriculum with many of the merits of Latinos In Action, but the students spend 100% of their time in class, making it an affordable alternative for school districts that don’t have the funding to bus students between schools. The class focuses on teaching life skills, financing college or trade schools, filling out FASFA and scholarship applications, the value of being bilingual, the importance of giving service, the significance of their cultural heritage, pride in their unique skills and qualities, and many other pertinent topics. See a summary in the proposed Table of Contents, or the Table of Contents Quick Summary.
The class is written specifically for Latinos, but would work for other minority or other immigrant students. A curriculum is being developed for 8th through 12th grades.
Diversity Discovery is not trying to replace Latinos In Action, but to supplement that program where it is already in-place, and reach a wider audience elsewhere. The benefit of the Diversity Discovery class is that it will be sufficiently inexpensive for schools to offer it to ALL Latino and other minority students.
Like Latinos In Action, Diversity Discovery also focuses on tutoring, but instead of busing students to an elementary school, the impact will be in the student’s home. Students are assigned to tutor/mentor a younger sibling or close relative by:
Feedback from Latino students indicate that it will be difficult to do the tutoring at home. We see this as a manageable challenge, and are seeking solutions to overcome this obstacle and make it rewarding for high school students to tutor their siblings.
Some ideas for motivation and accurate reporting of time spent include:
To develop class spirit and unity, polo shirts with team logos would be provided and worn to school at least once a week.
We would like to test the program in the Cache Valley (Utah) high schools and middle schools.
To repeat, the advantages of this program are:
See the latest outline of what we think should be in the class at: www.youthdiscovery.org/ toc-for-dd-class
© Youth Discovery Inc 2014, All Rights Reserved
License given at no charge, upon request, for local implementation
Rights reserved for nationwide fundraising
Youth Discovery Inc.
60 West 1000 North
Logan, UT 84321
Copyright © 2014 Youth Discovery Inc, All rights reserved