Empowered Voices

Taking Self-Awareness to Action

Course Description:

A Course Developed by Boys & Girls Club of Malibu in Partnership with SAMHSA

WHAT: Empowered Voices is a year-long social emotional learning program with four modules, each culminating design thinking and project-based learning. Students will develop resiliency and a better understanding of mental health. Students will also deepen their knowledge in these areas by using their creativity, collaboration, communication, and critical thinking skills to create solutions for individual or community challenges.

Social Emotional Learning is a fundamental component utilized throughout this course. SEL gives members/students a lens through which to establish and maintain healthy relationships, feel and show empathy, and positively impact their community.

The teen years are when some of the most rapid and developmentally significant changes for youth take place. During this period of “identity formation,” teens are right in the middle of figuring out who they are, who they want to be, and who they want to be around. Empowered Voices was created to provide teens with evidence-based tools to support them in the areas outlined herein. 

PROGRAM/COURSE GOALS:

  • Engage students with an opportunity for authentic PBL/Design Thinking projects that make social emotional learning and social justice applicable to their daily life
  • Support students by providing resources and measurable learning targets aligned with Common Core English Language Arts, social studies, and social justice standards
  • Provide Adverse Childhood Experiences screening in a meaningful environment to create a trauma informed Club/classroom and community
  • Prepare students for career & college readiness
  • Students will create a digital portfolio which will help them with college and job applications as well as teach them skills to promote and represent themselves online
  • Teach important life skills including problem solving and collaboration

WHO: For high school students

HOW: Through collaborative and interactive lesson plans and weekly group discussions, members learn about themselves, self-care, and how to empower themselves and others to positively impact the world around them!

  • Weekly design thinking projects can be completed virtually or in-person learning environments
  • Weekly group discussions guided by Youth Development Professional staff or TA staff
  • Building a peer-based, supportive community

Example Design Project Rubric

Sample Lesson Plan

INDIVIDUAL MODULE OVERVIEWS

– Each Module is 8 weeks long –

Social-Emotional Learning is a fundamental component utilized throughout all the courses. It gives members/students a lens through which to establish and maintain healthy relationships, feel and show empathy, and positively impact their community.
MODULE 1 – RESPONDING TO CRISIS
WHAT: In this 8-week long program, members/students will learn how humans respond to stress and how they, specifically, are responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Members/students will focus on creating positive change for oneself and others amidst a crisis. Members/students will learn about different personality types and the various needs that arise from each personality when in crises. They will design personalized self-care plans and learn to build their own resiliency, and will then apply these new understanding to a design thinking project in which they design solutions to the challenge “How might you create a way for someone else to feel safe and connect during the COVID-19 Pandemic.”
PROGRAM/COURSE GOALS:
●  Members/students identify needs statements
●  Members/students gain knowledge related to healthy boundaries
●  Members/students reflect inward/outward to strengthen self-awareness and design solutions for others
WHO: For high school students
HOW: Through collaborative and interactive lesson plans and weekly group discussions, teens engage in identifying healthy connections with peers and others, gaining empathy for others, exploring personality types, and strengthening stress management. Members are encouraged to break out of a normal routine and or comfort zone. This program gives members/students an opportunity to explore opportunities to be a catalyst for positive change.
MODULE 2 – CULTIVATING SELF-CONFIDENCE
WHAT: In this 8-week long program, students will learn to develop and strengthen their self-confidence by learning strategies such as positive self-talk and goal setting. They will also gain an understanding of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) and how these concepts relate to their place in the world as well as their understanding and acceptance of others. The program will culminate in a design thinking project in which students will design for the challenge “How might you have a positive impact on someone else’s self-confidence?”

PROGRAM/COURSE GOALS:
●  Members/students gain empathy for others
●  Members/students learn how to gain self-confidence & help instill confidence in those around them
●  Members/students learn how to identify negative self-talk and how to reframe it into positive self-talk
●  Members/students recognize unhealthy habits and learn how to convert them  into healthy habits

WHO: For high school students


HOW: Through collaborative and interactive lesson plans and weekly group discussions, members explore diversity, equity, inclusion, and allyship. Teens define self-confidence, practice mindfulness, and build positive self-esteem.
MODULE 3 – SOCIAL JUSTICE INITIATIVE
WHAT: In this 8-week long program, students will learn about social justice by exploring their personal and social identities, power structures, and create solution- based proposals for current social justice issues related to policing, housing and homelessness and the environment. Students will have the opportunity to create proposals, which can be pitched to local representatives. They will also complete a design thinking project in which they address the challenge “How might you be an ally for your chosen social justice issue in your daily life?”
PROGRAM/COURSE GOALS:
●  Members/students will gain the ability to customize their portfolios, strengthen their resume and college applications, and build their own website!
●  Members/students gain empathy for others
●  Learn more about their relationship with power and how it can be used to help others
WHO: For high school students
HOW: Through collaborative and interactive lesson plans and weekly group discussions, members/students will learn about individuals who are affected by social injustices and individual and community challenges.
MODULE 4 – COMMUNITY IMPACT

WHAT: In this 8-week long module, students will learn about local government, non- profits, volunteering, and social activism in order to have a community impact. Students will complete a design thinking project in which they address the challenge “How might you inspire other teens to get involved in a community issue you care about?”

PROGRAM/COURSE GOALS:
●  Members/students are given step-by-step guidance on how to contact local & state representatives to advocate for issues that are meaningful to them
●  Members/students get involved in volunteer opportunities, giving back to their community by assisting local nonprofits
● Members/students explore how to inspire their peers to increase youth advocacy and community engagement

WHO: For high school students

HOW: Through collaborative and interactive lesson plans and weekly group discussions, teens explore the benefits to themselves and their greater community and pledge to make a social difference.