Flipping the bargaining table and changing your school.
Most student councils feel like party planning committees.
Everyone running for election gives a big speech about how excited and committed and organized they are, or how they're gonna make so many good changes to the school. But... nobody's really sure what a "student leader" should be doing. Like, they can't get rid of homework.
There's a lot wrong with school that can be changed. Fixing disgusting bathrooms, replacing awful lunches, ending unfair grading, or getting $10k in funding for the most critical unmet student need... We can help you get to the bargaining table with school administrators and win. We'll come to a student council/government meeting, listen to what's stressing you out, show you how much leverage you have, and share research-backed strategies on negotiating and advocating for change.
We're a nonprofit run by former window-starers and class-cutters. No matter how hard we tried to escape the system, we felt stuck. Then we did some research, travelling nationwide, talking to 100+ students one-on-one, and sitting down with school administrators to trade phone time for new vocational classes. We realized students don't have to feel powerless in school.
Here's our playbook.
|Authorizing peer perspectives||Identify student body needs and anxieties (active listening, motivational interviewing)||Collect data (How many people are eating lunch? Food is a basic need. How much class time is spent on learning? Our numbers are <50%)|
|Acting on unmet needs with SEL strategies||Negotiation and self advocacy 101, plus running trust-building interventions||Find promises your administration has made to the school board. Nudge them to stay on track|
|Achieving long-lasting change||Themed protests and brief walkouts (and getting teachers advance notice)||Getting clubs, sports teams, and parents on board, plus support from a nationwide community of student leaders pushing for the same changes|
We facilitate these conversations at no cost to schools. Listening skills open doors, building trust, community, and hope. Negotiation skills are our doorstops, helping for your peers that can't self-advocate get through their day easier, growing belonging in the process. Subversive tactics are the backstop, just in case those doorstops break.