NEXT School Foundation Closet

NEXT School Foundation Closet

“Well, I would like to go, but I don’t have a suit.” Initially, I responded with the assumption that these peers were simply too lazy to go out and purchase proper clothes, until I finally realized that many of them didn’t have the funds to do so. No one wants to feel ostracized because of what they are wearing, and unfortunately, I began to recognize this happening all too often at high school conventions, due to the demographic of students who could afford to attend."

Disruption from the Deep South

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The other morning I was walking with my 7-year-old daughter on a local hiking trail and she asked me why I do what I do. It was one of the most profound questions I have been asked, especially by my daughter. My response was quick “to be one of the uneducated who educates the world.” Disclaimer before you read further you must know that I am not by current standards an “educator.” However, I have been through the system, benefited from the system, been failed by the system, abused the system and ignored the system. I believe that education must and will be changed by rebels, revolutionaries, and disruptures who are willing to work in concert with communities, governments, and people.

 

So how do we do that? How do we ensure, to steal a line from one of our inspirations, “that the revolution is improvised?” We form collations of people who are radicals in a room full of radicals. In that passion, I would like to propose that if you are reading this you reach out and help us form groups of people who will place action over pity and work alongside the NEXT School Foundation to increase access and opportunity for students.

 

Why start in South Carolina?

 

We are last in the country in education. Last. We can not point fingers anymore. However, what they fail to mention in those studies is the qualitative reality that we have some of the most brilliant minds who just need a choice to do more than just survive. We have already seeded a network of change agents through our programs at NEXT High School, NEXT School Eagle Ridge and countless other community engagements where the Foundation introduces frameworks of what learning should and can be.

 

We opened an education foundation in the Deep South to do more than make waves, we did it because our community is the uneducated who will one day educate the world.

 

So please accept this as an invitation to open a larger conversation about how we can enable the impossible by aiding both of our missions. Seriously, reach out to me jeremy.boeh@nextschoolfoundation.org

 

Consider joining me as the NEXT School Foundation seeks to increase access and opportunity to students across the country starting right here in the great state of South Carolina.

 

President, NEXT School Foundation, Jeremy Boeh

#NEXTis: A student’s POV

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#NEXTis: A student’s POV

“So what exactly is NEXT High School?”

I get this question often.

So often in fact, that I have perfected my response to be as involuntary and mechanical as the computers people assume NEXT High Schoolers are obsessed with.

The conversation almost inevitably occurs as follows:

“NEXT High School is a new charter high school across the street from Wade Hampton High, located in the Concentrix buildings.”

“So, it’s not a public school?”

“Oh no! It is; it’s just a public charter school, which means it is free and accessible to all students — it receives funding from the state but is also supported by partners in our community. It basically means they have more freedom as far as policy and curriculum.”

“Ok, so what is its focus? I’ve heard it’s like a tech school right?

“Yes and no. Our focus is impact-based learning, like project-based learning, but our projects are designed to have an actual impact on the community instead of just being thrown away. We also focus on preparing students for real life, which means we are heavily involved with new technology, and we all get Chromebooks, but don’t worry, we still know how to use paper and pencils.”

At this point, the imbalance between my unstimulated brain and overused voice is unfortunately audible in my tone and my conversational partner usually parts from the conversation with some degree of understanding.


While all I say is true and necessary to know when trying to wrap one’s mind around the complex concept of NEXT High School, here’s what I really want to say:


“What is NEXT? Where to start? NEXT is taking over a year (yeah you heard me right) to find the time to write this article between starting a nonprofit, making time for three little brothers, soccer five days a week, a job and that other thing, what’s it called? Oh right, actual school — the thing that’s gonna get me into college — or so I’m told.


NEXT is getting up every morning, and just like at every other school, sitting in class, but not really in class, because there are no walls and no rooms. And NEXT is having to deal with the challenges this environment presents, especially when you’ve got a common case of crazy ADD.


But, just as there are no walls in our space, there are no walls on our ideas. We don’t just check the boxes that force our potential into traditional public education, we fill them — with food for Harvest for Hope, with used clothes to be transformed into stuffed animals for children with cancer. Sure, we get distracted by that kid over there playing a recorder through his nose — oh it happens — the incessant bouncing of the soccer ball yet to be tamed by teachers, or the spontaneous flash dancing often initiated by that one group of girls, but NEXT says it’s ok.


NEXT is turning your flash dance into a concert, and using your talents to show the world that teenagers aren’t just self-obsessed computer freaks destined to ruin the coming generation. NEXT is breaking down the barriers that “grown ups” insist define their status, and replacing them with bridges of creativity, realistic problem-solving, an appreciation for failure, and a passion for making a difference.”

At this point I imagine I would be holding a yellow diamond studded microphone, solely for the purpose of dropping it before my listener could respond with what would surely be something like:

“What the heck is wrong with you kid?!?”

#NEXTis


Lucy Manley, NEXT School Foundation Fellow

A 21st Century Partnership

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

NEXTPack Scholarship Program Announced to Introduce High School Students to the Packaging Industry

The NEXTPack scholarship program is spearheaded by two of Greenville’s newest leaders in educational opportunities: The NEXT School Foundation and The Packaging School.

 

Greenville, SC (July 31, 2017) — The packaging industry is overflowing with opportunity and needs greater collaboration between higher education and industry to develop the next generation of packaging professionals. To solve this need, the NEXT School Foundation and The Packaging School are creating a one-of-a-kind scholarship program.

The program will be a fast paced, highly interactive experience that engages high school students looking to enter one the world’s largest industries before they step foot on a college campus or in a company building. Utilizing the Packaging School’s online flagship offering, the Certificate of Packaging Science, select NEXT School Network students will embark on a twelve course program that teaches the fundamental materials, processes, and influences, such as design and sustainability, that shape the packaging industry.

To bring the lessons to life, site visits to local packaging, material handling, and manufacturing companies will be arranged. The NEXT School Foundation Packaging Scholar program will allow employers in the packaging industry to have a voice in the way their future CEOs, managers, and employees are cultivated.

 “Partnering with The Packaging School allows us to continue to move the needle forward in access and opportunity for students in South Carolina which aligns directly with our mission and vision,” says Jeremy Boeh, President of the NEXT School Foundation.

 The program will kick off in the Spring of 2018. If you are a NEXT School Network student or parent interested in participating, reach out to Jeremy Boeh at jeremy.boeh@nextschoolfoundation.org.

 If you are a company in the Upstate that would like to assist, please contact Sara Shumpert, Director of the Packaging School, at sara@packagingschool.com.

 

 About NEXT School Foundation

The NEXT School Foundation’s mission is to fund, research and build innovative and engaging learning experiences. Through community involvement and support, revenue generating programing, focused fundraising and educational program development. Every student will have the opportunity to achieve his/her highest potential, every educator will have the tools and resources to provide a superior education experience, and every administrator will be able to provide exemplary support and leadership by drawing on unique strengths to accelerate growth.

 

About The Packaging School

The Packaging School is a glimpse into the future of higher education in packaging design and engineering. As the exclusive licensee of a professional packaging curriculum developed at Clemson University’s acclaimed packaging science degree program, the Packaging School offers an affordable, 12-course, fully online certificate program in the packaging industry. The packaging school is bridging the gap between higher education and industry by partnering with companies, subject matter experts, and associations to create a shared learning ecosystem.

Community as the Classroom

In his wonderful book, The Schools are Children Deserve, renowned educational commentator Alfie Kohn shares his view that “the children we teach best are the ones who need us the least.” As a longtime teacher and school leader who has worked in a full spectrum of schools from privileged to highly. One of the most inspiring stories I have heard about creating a culture of learning for those who need it most comes from a wonderful TED Talk (ted.com) led by a young designer-educator, Emily Pilloton, working in a poor area of Eastern North Carolina. She shares about some major systems-based approaches that community has rallied together to bring the schooling and education out of the four walls of the schoolhouse and into the community in a way that is redefining and reinvigorating the face of the town and restoring the pride and purpose of the young people there, where they are viewed as community assets. To do this, as Kohn suggests, she has called on the school and teachers there to challenge and then change the conditions that are impeding moving the education “our children deserve” forward. Here is the link to video. When you get some time, take a look. It’s pretty cool.

http://www.ted.com/talks/emily_pilloton_teaching_design_for_change.html