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Review for Imagine Scholar, Portland, OR, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

Uniquely, instead of announcing a Mission Statement, Imagine Scholar asks a Mission Question: How can youth be empowered to enact change within themselves and their communities now and in to the future?

In the seemingly simple gesture of asking a question in lieu of making a statement, Imagine Scholar allows for the individuality of each student, her talents, her circumstances, and her goals. In this manner, Imagine Scholar is all about the student and not about its own self-perpetuation. Indeed, Imagine Scholar’s aim is its own obsolescence: the ultimate goal is mentoring these students to become leaders of their own community, eventually leading to the natural displacement of Imagine Scholar in that particular space.

Like minds attract, and it is in this vein that Imagine Scholar and my debate group, The Hive, connected: as communities who ask questions with the goal of finding an answer, sometimes many answers. I brought 4 students to teach a debate workshop during the winter break 2017. Even on holiday, the students evidenced what seems to be fairly typical Imagine Scholar behavior: the curiosity to check us out initially, the self-confidence (notably lacking self-consciousness) to dive right in, and the sense of community to share the experience with others and beyond the workshop itself.

Imagine Scholar is more than an after school program. It is a community of people who choose to support one another as whole people. Notably, Imagine Scholar is visionary but rooted in reality. Their aim is to support and broaden that reality on an individual and community-wide basis so that the vision becomes real.

Role:  Professional with expertise in this field