THIRD SPACE YOUTH INSTITUTE

Inaugural Youth Institute Breaks New Ground

Young migrant student public speaking.

A high school student practices public speaking in front of an audience of his peers during the Third Space Youth Institute

An Interactive Learning Experience

From June 10th–June 13th, 2019, the USC Annenberg Center for Third Space Thinking hosted a group of 60 migrant high school students for the first ever Third Space Youth Institute. The Center partnered with the Los Angeles County Office of Education and Riverside County Office of Education to create a four-day residential program on the USC campus for the children of migrant workers.

Students were introduced to the critical soft skills necessary to prepare them for a successful future: college readiness, career development, building presentation skills, and personal branding. Students learned from the experts, participated in interactive workshops, and worked together in teams to develop presentations on important issues like educational inequality and the significance of voting to the democratic process.

“Our program equips students with the essential soft skills needed to embrace new ideas, leverage diversity, build self-confidence and visualize success," said Shellee Smith. “We’re excited about educating migrant students and giving them a leading edge in their future endeavors.”

How to be an ace with ace-it

During the program, students were introduced to the Third Space ACE-IT methodology which is a communication tool used to frame and solve problems.  ACE-IT stands for:

Adaptability

Cultural Competency

Empathy 

Intellectual Curiosity

360 Degree Thinking

Many students noted the fundamentals of the ACE-IT methodology as a key takeaway:

"What I'm most excited to share about my experience is that I can use the ACE-IT method to tackle any situation." – Alexis Godinez, Antelope Valley High School.

Students listen and watch attentively as their peers present group projects

Our workshops

In addition to lessons covering our ACE-IT methodology, students also engaged in a variety of other workshops including:

Meeting with USC College Advisors

Personal Branding

Presentation Skills

Storytelling

Careers in Media

Vocabulary Development

Equipped with the knowledge and resources provided by Annenberg faculty, working professionals, and their own peers, these students have gained the tools to empower themselves to succeed in college and beyond by leveraging the Third Space soft skills in their lives and their communities.

“I know these students will go back to their communities and they will make change,” said Myra Sanchez, Director of Migrant Education in Riverside County. “I look forward to continuing this collaboration and exposing more students to this type of learning.”

WHAT PARTICIPANTS ARE SAYING

  • 360-Degree Thinking: I absolutely love that concept because it allows us to grow our mindset. A lot of students in our community feel like since they are immigrants, they don't have a future. They don't have success. But that’s not the answer. With 360-Degree Thinking, they become curious. They want to ask questions and become ambitious for the [potential] of their future.

    Denisse Tafolla – Arroyo High School

  • I love the fact that the students are empowered to engage in communication and talk about things that are affecting their communities. I like that they are empowered to be more confident and that they are given the ability to use communication as a tool. I have been very impressed with the growth I have seen in the students.

    Myra Sanchez, Director of the Migrant Education Program for Region 7 – Riverside County Office of Education

  • Coming into this environment there is a huge support system. There are Latino mentors that I can look to and that there are other people looking to achieve the same goals and that it’s something attainable for me.

    Lizbeth Luevano – La Quinta High School

  • ACE-IT is very good because we’ve always had that as Latinos, or any other race, we all have that 360 mindset, but we don’t really know how to use it. So learning ACE-IT is really helpful for the future.

    America Garcia – Simon Rodia High School

  • It was definitely eye-opening because he told us that it was important to get ourselves out there, and that we matter. That a great way of connecting with others and having connections is just simply getting up after a guest speaker has presented, and presenting yourself to them; they will open up opportunities that you may not have had beforehand.

    David Diaz Garcia – Rosemead High School

Stay tuned. This is just the beginning of a new, exciting venture.

About The Center for Third Space Thinking

To learn more about the USC Annenberg Center for Third Space Thinking, click here.