On March 15, 2020 the world was forced to adapt. Healthcare systems across the world had to learn how to manage the Coronavirus. The Covid pandemic shaped different systems around the world, changing the way we live, work, and learn. Now that the world is returning to some form of pre-pandemic normalcy, we are all going through another transition of adaptation. In March, we had to learn how to work remotely and socialize virtually, but adapting back to a world we yearned for during COVID isn’t as easy as it may have seemed.
“The world that you will enter as a professional is a whole lot different than the world I entered years ago,” exclaimed Dr. Ernest Wilson, founder of the USC Annenberg Center for Third Space Thinking, to a virtual room of more than 50 high school students.
The COVID-19 pandemic interrupted the learning of just about every high school student. Students have endured grueling months of online learning, Zoom calls, and independent work. This year, the Third Space Youth Institute also had to adapt to distant learning, but our students still showed up on Zoom every day eager to learn about how to leverage their soft skills for college and career success.
Not every high school student knows exactly what they want to be when they are older, but Kymberly Rivera is already taking the steps to become a lawyer, with her mind set on criminal justice or on working with juveniles. She was drawn to the Third Space Thinking program because she wanted to gain the leadership skills to prepare herself for her future career. As a junior at the USC Hybrid High College Prep Academy, Kymberly is highly involved as a leader. She is the captain of her soccer team, a leader in her coding and robotics club, as well as a former participant in the mock trial team. Through weekly modules, self-reflection activities on Padlet, online group activities with her 19 classmates, and a final project using the ACE-IT model to tackle a cause the students care about, Kymberly and her classmates strengthened their soft skills during the 10-week online program. The Third Space course, Developing Academic and Career Success Through Third Space Thinking, is designed to provide students with the core attributes that are needed, yet underrepresented in the job market: adaptability, cultural competency, empathy, intellectual curiosity, and 360-degree thinking. While Kymberly has been exposed to soft skills […]
Students in the United States and across the globe have faced a multitude of challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic as they learned to adapt to online learning. Nonetheless, the students at USC Hybrid High College Prep were exceptionally enthusiastic to join Third Space Founder, Dr. Ernest Wilson and Third Space Fellow Jaime Carias virtually for the first session of our program, Developing Academic and Career Success Through Third Space Thinking on Friday, February 26. Twenty students from Hybrid High’s history class were introduced to the ACE-IT model, which is comprised of five research-based attributes: Adaptability, Cultural Competency, Empathy, Intellectual Curiosity and 360-Degree Thinking. These are the soft skills that will be measured and strengthened throughout the course of the program to prepare students for college and their career.
Many people forget that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s work in the Civil Rights Movement was only about 50 or 60 years ago. King was assassinated in 1968 after working to gather the Black community, people of color and other allies to heal the nation’s traumas of 400 years of slavery. King fought against segregation and his influence helped pass the Civil Rights Act of 1965, which outlawed unjust voting practices. But many people forget that King’s work still continues today with those fighting for the dream he spoke of in his famous “I Have a Dream” Speech. In that speech, King said, “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal.” While King’s mounting work made a stride towards a just society, the fact is that systemic racism still persists today, and rather than viewing the Civil Rights Movement and his work as a panacea moment in history, we can honor his legacy by listening to the voices of the Black community and the current Black Lives Matter Movement to continue to build the […]
Right now the world is plagued with big issues that oftentimes seem unsolvable. Those who wish to right the wrongs of the world may feel hopeless or intimidated by the scale of these issues. During the closing celebration of Latinx Heritage Month on October 13, USC Annenberg held a Zoom discussion between USC President Carolt Folt and labor activist Dolores Huerta. Huerta reminded students and attendees that the answers to these seemingly unsolvable questions can be found within our own humanity: “We are one human race,” Huerta stated. It is Huerta’s strength in soft skills like empathy and her 360-degree thinking, that have helped her become a powerful organizer and activist for human and civil rights. Dolores Huerta is best known for her community service activism in co-founding the United Farm Workers, formerly known as the National Farmworkers Association, with late labor activist Cesar Chavez. She is also founder of the Dolores Huerta Foundation. At an early age, Huerta started lobbying, organizing farmworkers and negotiating contracts for laborers. Throughout her life, Huerta’s organizing skills originated from her strength in contextualizing her passions into soft skills and rejecting the status quo, while believing in the power of individual and collective action. Huerta’s […]