The QUESTion Project at BCSM, South Bronx
We are lucky to be working with the incredible students, principal and faculty of this New York City public school. The Bronx Center for Science and Mathematics (BCSM), situated in the poorest congressional district in the US, has been rated number 54 of all high schools for low-income students in the country (Newsweek 2016). Our partnership is based on the belief that education must prepare students for life beyond academics, and our collaboration reflects this belief. BCSM is where we began our first series of QUESTion Classes in 2014, and is a core member of the QUESTion Family. The Principal, Ed Tom, is the recipient of the 2016 Bronx Principal of the Year Award and 2016 Ellis Island Medal of Honor. He was the first to share our vision and his amazing staff have become our partners in co-creating with us what has now become a proven and powerful approach to unlock students’ humanity and potential. Through semester-long QUESTion Classes, school-wide assemblies and student ambassador programs, we have a successful model that supports students to journey into the important human questions that underlie the moral and life choices they face.
What I noticed is a motivation and an inspiration that our kids model now for their peers where you know they feel that they can become a positive influence on others. Now that is a huge shift from some of the teenagers that we’re used to dealing with, they come in and it is about receiving, it’s about what you can give me. I feel the kids that went through the QUESTion Project have shifted their paradigm of thinking, and they begin asking themselves what I can give others…So that’s the huge psychological shift that I noticed in the way that our students have changed since their participation in the Question Project. Ed Tom, Principal, Bronx Center for Science and Math
It’s something that they have never really had before. Even though they may have had the opportunity to think privately about these different questions, now they have an opportunity to talk to other students the same age who are going through a lot of similar situations. This gives them an opportunity to understand that these are not just questions that they have — but that they share this common journey in trying to figure out what they want to do and who they want to become. Pat Karl, Guidance Counselor, Bronx Center for Science and Math