Mickey Lieberman-Burak Capstone

For my Capstone, I created an online Queer-Straight Alliance (QSA) at Science Leadership Academy, in addition to preparation for the QSA next year. My Capstone began with an inquiry question: How can school communities better support LGBTQ+ students? This question developed over time into another question: In what ways is technology instrumental in overcoming obstacles to connect a community? This Capstone has taken a winding path, with many twists, turns, relocations, and adjustments. The first of many obstacles this year was the asbestos crisis. While the relocation was jarring and unexpected, the online adaptation of school sparked a new vision of what the SLA QSA could be. I created an online SLA QSA, via Discord, a social media platform. Once school returned to being in a physical location, it was a time of adjustment, during which I had to rework many of the plans. From designing posters for the in-school meetings to doing the necessary write-ups for the online SLA QSA to be approved by a lawyer of the Philadelphia School District, I learned and experienced the steps required to overcome the obstacles that come with connecting a community in a time of turmoil. Each time the date and location of the first meeting were determined, there was another relocation. In the end, the online SLA QSA withstood the obstacles that the in-school meetings couldn’t. The final result was an online QSA, as well as a variety of materials that can be used next year, by the future QSA leaders.