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August 20, 2009: Youth Research Presentation covered by Intersections

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  • 08-24-2009
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August 20, 2009 - IDEA's 'Council of Youth Research' covered in a two-part series in Intersections

Exploring a community's needs, students vow to "change this place"

by Evelyn Padilla

LOS ANGELES - When Isaac Jimenez, a Wilson High School senior, finished the school year last May, he could have chosen to enjoy his summer break. But instead he opted to spend five weeks learning about and doing research in the communities of Greater Los Angeles.

Jimenez is one of 25 high school students from Los Angeles Unified School District hired to participate in a youth research seminar sponsored by the UCLA Institute for Democracy, Education and Access, an institute that brings together scholars and community representatives to improve the number of students of color in colleges and universities. The seminar teaches students college-level research to motivate them to address social issues in their communities.

"Young people need to be major players in conversations about educational reform," said Ernest Morrell, the institute's associate director.

Morrell has been involved with the project since it was established in 1999 as a way to determine why there was such a high academic failure among students of color. Over the years the project has grown and explored several research topics.

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LA students to City Council:  Fix our schools, neighborhoods

by Evelyn Padilla

LOS ANGELES - A group of 25 high school students, dressed in their Sunday best, prepared to present the findings from a busy summer of research conducted across the city. Their message was simple to the assembled city leaders, parents and others who gathered recently Los Angeles City Hall: Pay attention to youth and their communities.

The presentations from students from several high schools across greater Los Angeles was the culmination of a weeks-long summer research program during which the students studied ways the economic crisis has affected their communities. In South Los Angeles, students reported on the impact of poverty.

From East Los Angeles, students discovered the economic crisis had helped boost the high school drop out rate. The high school students, presenting their findings to the Los Angeles City Council and other city officials, were sponsored by UCLA's Institute for Democracy, Education and Access.

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