Innovators of the Month, April
Join me in congratulating, Upper School students, Clay Baker, Camilo Corrales, Zach Skubic, Christian Lee, Tiffany Jiang, Mia Russo, and Kendall Jones, who have been named Ravenscroft’s April Innovators of the Month for their participation in District C’s C Squad.
C squad is “an innovative real-world learning experience designed to teach high school students how to work together to solve real problems.” This program gives students a unique experience that could not be replicated in a traditional classroom. Our constantly evolving world needs forward-thinking individuals like these C Squaders, and hence, we would like to publicly honor their efforts and involvement with C Squad.
Through a series of questions, these students were asked to describe both their experiences in C Squad and at Ravenscroft. Here are a few of their responses:
- Please describe what sparked your interest in the C Squad program.
“After I received my nomination, I looked into the website and was excited to see how the C Squad program connected high schoolers to actual businesses who had actual issues- this idea, that high schoolers could work and help a legitimate and not hypothetical situation was an opportunity that interested me greatly. I was also excited to be able to branch into the world of business and entrepreneurship as well as a different approach to leadership!” ~Mia
“My interest in District C and C Squads definitely stems from my long-standing passions for business/entrepreneurship and technology. Whether it’s working with heavy machinery in my family’s aggregate business or running my own small, tech-centered company, I am very fortunate to have many opportunities to explore the intersection of these two fields and have learned a lot over the years. However, C Squads allowed me to explore that intersection in a whole new way through extremely collaborative work rooted in technology with other young adults who share similar passions.” ~Zach
“What interested me in the program was being able to become more involved with real businesses trying to resolve pressing issues in their company. Working with them would give me insight into the world of business which I am looking to be a part of. Furthermore, the program would provide me with a diverse group of teammates with which to help solve the problem herby taking me out of my comfort zone and pushing me to adapt to new situations and dilemmas.” ~Camilo
- What were your biggest takeaways from this experience?
“This experience taught me that working with people with diverse backgrounds can be extremely beneficial when trying to solve complex problems. My team and I often relied on our personal experiences to generate ideas.” ~Kendall
“Because I have gone to Ravenscroft since 2nd grade, I have mostly interacted and worked with the same group of people. At District C, I was able to work with various students from across the triangle. During my C Squad experience, I grew as a collective leader, and my ability to balance diverse perspectives. I also learned a lot about leading/participating in productive meetings. My Squad, “LNCT,” could only meet in short 30 minute Google hangout calls, so it was imperative that we had a thorough schedule with specific “action tasks.” At first, the entire squad, myself included, would get caught up on small details and lose track of time; however, by ‘Pitch Night,’ I found it much easier to keep everyone on task and ensure that we accomplished our entire agenda.” ~Clay
“Problem-solving is a pretty streamlined step by step process. You have to make it organized.” ~Tiffany
- Describe a challenge you faced in the program and how you overcame it.
“I really enjoyed working with my team but one of our biggest challenges was finding times to meet given everyone’s jam-packed schedules. We used Google Hangout to meet online and we had to be really prepared with our individual assignments and extremely focused during our meetings to make the best use of our time.” ~Kendall
“One of the bigger challenges that we faced was making sure that the application that we were working with (the business was Fit for 90) would not only attract people into using the app and maintaining its use but also helping build it in a way that would not undermine its true mission of trying to help find potential injuries that athletes might have. Our solution was to look at different aspects of the app community to see what made applications more enticing for the consumer. Building more of a “gaming” and community aspect to the game, we were able to balance the reward system (gaming portion) and the community aspect so that they would not only build up the Fit for 90 community, but it would also prevent the simplifying of the app as “just another health app.” ~Camilo
“During the program, it was a challenge to work with one of my groupmates. I overcame this by focusing on the project and doing what would be best for the customer, not our own personal opinions.” ~Mia
- How has the experience impacted you as a student and how do you think it will impact you as a young adult in the future?
“My participation in C Squads has given me an entirely new perspective on approaching group work relating to both business activities and collaborative work in general, and I will be able to use the skills I’ve learned throughout life regardless of my final career path.” ~Zach
“This experience taught me how to work with all sorts of people from all different backgrounds as well as a completely new way to solve problems that will benefit me greatly in my future endeavors both in school and in a job.” ~Mia
“Following my experience at District C, I took the knowledge and experience I gained at District C to improve MathNC, a program I co-founded in 2016 where students tutor virtually to local Boys and Girls Clubs and YMCAs in math. In particular, I focused on reevaluating the way our tutors and afterschool locations were connecting. Using the ‘collective’ and ‘agile’ mindsets that District C builds upon, I worked with the on-site directors to develop the most effective and efficient manner to connect online. The results this year were amazing, and MathNC tutors were able to focus much more time on tutoring rather than simply connecting to a students’ computer. As I transition into adulthood and college, I believe that using of ‘collective’ and ‘agile’ mindsets will continue to help me grow as a leader and communicator. And I also made a lot of friends in the program whom I will be to continue to work with even after high-school ends.” ~Clay
What do you love most about being a Raven?
“My favorite part of being a Raven is without question being able to come to school every day and work with so many other amazing, talented individuals — students and faculty alike. Whether it’s on the stage, in the classroom, or on a field, Ravenscroft is filled with people who have a true passion and really care about what they do not just for their own development, but that of the people around them and the greater community as a whole.” ~Zach
“I’m appreciative of being in an environment where teachers care about your academic success and are always willing to help.” ~Kendall
“I love the immense number of opportunities that come with being a Raven. The world is honestly at your fingertips when a person studies here, they just have to embrace it. From the variety of different classes to the trips to different countries, Ravenscroft expands your view of the world and of what you want to do with that world. Being a Raven provides you with teachers work with you and want to make you succeed and an education that prepares students for the workload of college. I know that once graduated, being a Raven will still have an impact in my life based on its resources and the connections that I make with both the faculty and the students. As a Raven, I know that doors will open up along the way, and I know I would not have many without being a Raven.” ~Camilo
“My favorite part of being a raven is the Ravenscroft community and the amazing people that surround me on a daily basis. From teachers to students, there is so much support in our community that fills me with joy and lifts me up when I am down.” ~Mia
“I love being a Raven, because of the great community of students and faculty. Here, everyone is focused on improvement and growth, as a leader, learner, and person. In particular, Ravenscroft fosters an environment where students and faculty members can team up (such as a creating a club) to make a positive change in the local community or provide a deeper understanding of specific topics. I have really enjoyed being part of this inclusive and uplifting community.” ~Clay