Third Space Youth Institute: Coming to Campus this Summer!

Third Space is thrilled to officially announce the 2019 Third Space Youth Institute (TSYI). This free, four-day residential program in partnership with Riverside and Los Angeles counties aims to introduce migrant students to critical soft skills, college readiness, career development, professional networking, and personal branding. The program will run from June 10-13, 2019, hosting the high school students participating on the USC campus.

“We are very excited to launch the Third Space Youth Institute at USC Annenberg and introduce migrant students to the power of soft skills,” said Shellee Smith, the Executive Director of the Center for Third Space Thinking. “Our program equips students with the essential soft skills needed to embrace new ideas, leverage diversity, build self-confidence, and visualize success.”

The development of this project has been spearheaded by Third Space fellow Jaime Carias in collaboration with Myra Sanchez, the Director at Riverside County’s Office of Education, and Leo Valdez, Coordinator II, Migrant Education Program Region X.

“Through our partnerships with Los Angeles and Riverside County Offices of Education, we will introduce these students to a new communication-based methodology that will help them frame and solve problems throughout their careers,” Shellee added.

Ms. Sanchez hopes this inaugural program is the start of an on-going partnership that will be a “game-changer” for migrant students with Third Space Thinking giving them a leading edge.

“I am hoping that the students who complete this program will apply the skills and knowledge they acquire from this program to all aspects of their future,” Sanchez said. “Not only will Third Space Thinking curriculum develop their skills, but it will also prepare them for their future. The goal is for them to walk away from this experience with more self-confidence, self-determination, and a realization that higher education and professional careers are attainable for them.”

Third Space’s specialty in soft skill training is something Mr. Valdez also considers “very important”, especially in assessing various situations that students could be presented within both academic and professional settings.

“Career development is crucial because our migrant students need to know that there is a wide array of careers for them to choose from,” Mr. Valdez said, explaining why he considers soft skills as a key component. “By having different choices of what careers they want to pursue they will be able to select what is just right for them and be able to break the chains of poverty.”

Ms. Sanchez and Mr. Valdez both emphasized that they hope the students attending TSYI will not only be impacted by Third Space Thinking, but it will further motivate them to apply to universities such as USC, showing them their educational goals are attainable—whether that’s an undergraduate degree or beyond.

We look forward to welcoming these students to campus!

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