Bellevue College is partnering with the Bellevue School District to host The BOOM (Breaking Out Of the Margin) Experience, an all-day conference designed to support 7-12th grade male students who racially identify as African, Black, Hispanic, Latino, LatinX, Native American, Southeast Asian, Pacific Islander (or mix of any). The program, scheduled for Dec. 12, provides an opportunity for these students to connect, be inspired, find support and be lead and taught by men who are also from these racial categories.
Students will spend the day learning and engaging in discussion around race, culture, leadership and self-empowerment with sessions like How Race impacts your identity, Speak On It!, La Culture Cura: Beats from the Barrio, A World Without Black People and Purpose & Perseverance to name a few.
According to the most recent report from the Schott Foundation for Public Education, estimates indicate a national high school graduation rate of 59 percent for Black males, 65 percent for Latino males and 80 percent for White males. And in April, Inside Higher Ed published an article, Graduation Rates and Race, which explored a similar gap in college graduation rates. A National Student Clearinghouse Research Center report found, “on average, white and Asian students earn a college-level credential at a rate about 20 percentage points higher than Hispanic and Black students do.”
Mentorship from an instructor who students can identify with racially may improve student success. A recent NPR article, If Your Teacher Looks Like You, You May Do Better In School, noted another study found, “…when students had teachers of the same race as them, they reported feeling more cared for, more interested in their schoolwork and more confident in their teachers’ abilities to communicate with them. These students also reported putting forth more effort in school and having higher college aspirations.”
“We are truly excited to be able to continue to offer this opportunity for the students of the Bellevue School District. It is a great partnership we have with the Bellevue Schools Foundation, Bellevue College, Bellevue College Foundation and The City of Bellevue that allows for us to focus on cultural and racial relevance in a meaningful way,” said Krischanna Roberson, Supervisor of Equity for the Bellevue, WA School District. “Going into this third year we have worked hard to listen and act on what students have said. Dillion, a freshman at one of our schools, has become a self-actualized leader as a result of attending BOOM. He has engaged with our staff with such excitement going into this year’s program not only for himself but in leading other students to the BOOM Experience as well.”
A similar program for female youth, SHOUT, is scheduled for March 27, also at Bellevue College.
BOOM organizers expect participation from more than 300 students, staff, community members and leaders. For more information, please visit: http://www.bsd405.org/departments/equity/boom/
Last Updated December 6, 2017