A Personal Story
I bring to this project a personal story of work in The Young People’s Project (YPP), an organization originally intended to promote students’ active engagement in their own mathematics education. In 2010, I began work at YPP as a high school “math literacy worker” – young people who are trained to work with other young people as mathematics tutors and instructors, and as peer advisors and mentors in a cascading system where college students assist high school students, high school students assist middle school students, and middle school students assist elementary school students. The work that I did as a high school student directly connects to the work I do today. My experience working on a project funded through a National Science Foundation (NSF) Innovative Technology Experiences for Student and Teachers (ITEST) grant to YPP #1031633 (including Co-PI Moses and Co-PI Tucker-Raymond) changed my view of myself as a learner and student of the Boston Public Schools. In the ITEST project I learned how to create computer-based math games as part of my teaching and mentoring as a high school math literacy worker. No such opportunities to learn computer science presented themselves during the school day for myself or any of my friends in other BPS high schools. Involvement in YPP launched my interest in Computer Science (CS) and my eventual enrollment at Wentworth Institute Technology in Boston leading to a BS in Computer Information Systems, a MS in Technology Management, and now, my work as a PhD Student at Boston University studying Mathematics and Science Education. My story and the work of YPP represents an important component of work in schools where students who are not treated equitably in classrooms – the development of teaching and learning environments that are effective and nurture students’ agency. I sincerely hope this project builds a strong teaching force in BPS that can reach greater numbers of students who do not have the opportunity to learn computer science.