THE GANG GOES TO SUSO
Laughter and pervasive merriment filled the campus of Texas A&M University-San Antonio today as students from across the San Antonio landscape went head to head competing for their chance in the spotlight. But more importantly, for their opportunity to be heard. The 4th Annual CAST Schools Speak Up! Speak Out! Regional Civics Fair kicked off today and provided students with an opportunity to activate their voice and discover the power they have in changing their communities for the better. Students paired in small groups came prepaid with presentations on a variety of topics from teen mental health to homelessness and many many more.
Each group was given 12 minutes to identify the significance of an issue, show evidence of research (providing primary and secondary sources), and offer a sustainable solution. Needless to say the students DELIVERED! As judges, our gang was blown away by the level of commitment these kids had to leaving the world a better place. Many of the students had already instituted Beta programs in their home campuses designed to resolve the very issues of which they spoke.
The competitive element was a fun addition, but it was apparent the true metric of merit was the development of skills needed to solve community problems. The solutions weren't bad either! Many of the groups had REALLY well thought-out actionable solutions. One group was in the beginning stages of constructing their third hydroponic garden to help combat climate change and educate people on global warming. Another group created a full marketing campaign targeted to Region 20 schools encouraging girls to pursue STEM fields and "Make a mark on the world that cant be erased -Maya Angelou."
It was truly amazing seeing the fruits of our labor manifest in the passionate voices of these students. Though the majority of credit is clearly due to CAST and its many partners, we are humbled we got to play a small part in the creation of the CAST facilities. T.DC has been the creative hands behind the Interior Design, FF&E, and Occupancy Logistics of the 5 CAST schools and never could have imagined the impact. If we have learned one thing in our experience designing for schools it is this; If you provide a student with an atmosphere that excites them about learning, they will.
We want to thank the CAST Network for having us a judges and look forward to hearing all of the success stories in SUSOs to come!
San Antonio's budding network of high schools known as (CAST) started their journey in June of 2016. Their flagship school, CAST Tech (previously Fox Tech), opened its doors to students looking to peruse careers in Information Technology at the start of the 2018 school year. Since its inception in CAST has pushed out its first set of graduates, partnered with 3 school districts, and expanded into a total of 5 high schools and a pre-k through 12th academy all focused on partnering with industry to create authentic learning experiences. CAST Teach, the network’s 6th school, will open in August 2022 in partnership with Northside ISD.