Scholar & SC Facilitate STEP About Race

By Kendyll Cole 19' & SC Jalen Baker, Lindblom Math & Science Academy 

This past semester, Kendyll Cole and Jalen Baker co-facilitated a 3-week STEP addressing issues of race.  Here are their reflections on the process:

As a scholar that could be considered fairly new to this program and Lindblom itself, co-facilitating STEP with Jalen Baker has been an especially meaningful experience for me. Initially, Jalen and I would meet Wednesdays after school to formulate a public forum centered around the prominence of racial and social injustice within modern American society; we were planning to open it up to the entire school when everything was set in stone. However when Sara gave us the opportunity to test run our prototype by administering the sophomore STEP for 3 consecutive weeks, we gladly took the chance. Although we had about a week and a half at the time to finalize our seminar, finding the time to do so became quite strenuous, knowing that I have given my peers the ability to further their understanding on subjects imperative to us as minorities yet still commonly un-talked about was rewarding nonetheless. 
While I am currently a Student Assistant Teacher for English II, I found that deliberately planning activities meant to allow my peers to better understand and formulate their opinions on such a colossal topic like race was much more difficult than I anticipated. When it came to STEP, my biggest worry quickly shifted from deciding which snacks I would choose when break-time finally rolled around to coming up with interactive ways to effectively explain how implicit bias influences matters from daily interactions to the education and criminal justice systems. I had to stop seeing my fellow scholars as merely that and begin to identify them by the way they learned and retained new information best, a weird necessity given our relation. And while this experience was a bit strange for the both of us, with me co-facilitating a group of my friends every Monday night and all, the groundbreaking realizations that were made and discussions that were had pertaining to things like micro and macro level racism were utterly exhilarating. I've gained more insight on not only my fellow scholars and Jalen as individuals during this process of debunking America's discriminatory tendencies, but also on myself. Leadership has a plethora of different levels and participating in this opportunity has allowed me to explore yet another I otherwise wouldn't have.  - Kendyll Cole ’19  

I had the pleasure of co-leading a series of STEP sessions with a sophomore scholar, Kendyll Cole, for three weeks in March. Kendyll was interested in doing a workshop on Race for the entire school and I have been working with her to create this program since October. This year we had four open weeks on the STEP Calendar and we thought it would be a good idea to pilot the program with our sophomore class. It has been an honor to work with Kendyll on this project. She is such a deep thinker about issues pertaining to race/racism and it was great to see her apply her brilliant ideas and insights into co-facilitating this STEP with me. I had a blast working with her and doing these sessions with the sophomores. They’re such a great group!!  - Jalen Baker, SC '16-18


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