A few months ago, I had the chance to arrange for a young artist to perform for a group of high school students. At the time, the student was a junior in a Massachusetts high school that is organized around internships and other alternative curricula. The school is an amazing place and it is filled with students who are working hard to find their place in the world, and they are largely successful. For two days every week, the students spend the day at area businesses and workplaces learning through internships.
Visiting students at the internship sites, you find mature and articulate young people who are glad to have experiences other than traditional classroom in their high school experience. While trying to encourage my students to “own their learning,” I sent those three words to Chris, and he arrived to perform this about a week later.