OK…we have to take a minute to brag. One of our students is featured in the Tampa Bay Times for his founding work with the Student Alliance for Public Schools. Full disclosure- he’s also the son of our Executive Director, Melissa Erickson. But, that doesn’t matter. Daniel Erickson is the perfect example of all of our amazing student leaders and their tremendous capacity to solve problems and create positive change for themselves and their peers.
A great future lies ahead for Daniel, and he’s excited to begin that journey. But it’s what he’s leaving behind that has him absolutely ecstatic.
Two years ago, Daniel founded the Student Alliance for Public Schools. The nonprofit organization seeks to add students’ voices in the effort to raise the high school graduation rate.
In March, participants in the Student Alliance planned and hosted the GradNation Community Summit, part of America’s Promise Alliance’s GradNation campaign, which aims to raise the national high school graduation rate to 90 percent by 2020. At the summit, students presented graduation-boosting research and projects that were piloted in area high schools.
Student Alliance leaders met this month for a three-day student leadership conference where they collaborated with administrators to develop action plans to increase graduation rates for the new school year.
Like Daniel, our newest crop of students are on a mission to make sure everyone graduates and has a shot at a successful future. They have already begun to develop targeted solutions to remove barriers to diplomas. As Melissa points out, “We’re focused on continuing to develop leaders,” she said. “There are a whole bunch of Daniels around.”
Imagine a world where the adults provide the space and support and allow kids to come up with positive policies and practices! That’s the legacy of Daniel and his fellow leaders who graduated in June. We can’t wait to see what our next group of kids comes up with!