Nikki Adeli, Capstone

When I gave my TEDxTalk in March of my Junior year, I wanted to provide my perspective, as a student, of the problem with education in Philadelphia today. However, when writing my talk I wanted it to be different than other TED talks I had previously seen. I wanted it to have a call to action. My call to action was to have Philadelphia invest more in youth internships and work opportunities so that students were able to expand their interests outside the classroom that wasn’t providing much support for them. 
Therefore, for my Capstone, I began to create the foundation of a project I was longing to do for quite sometime. The creation of what I call “Skillships”. I wanted students, who didn’t have access to internships and shadowing positions, like I did at SLA, to actually have the opportunity to do so because I saw the positive effect it had on my peers and me. However, I called these opportunities Skillships because prior to a student beginning their Skillship, they are to take a diagnostic survey I created. The survey would then show me what their strengths, weaknesses, and interests were. From there, the student would be able to see and help me understand a specific skill they wanted to perfect. Whether it was social media management or mechanics, I wanted to be able to set these students up with the opportunities to grow a skill of their choosing while giving back to Philadelphia by working with small businesses.

 I received a lot of No’s when it came to building the foundation of Skillships. Whether it was regarding a student’s “expertise” or the “lack of incentive I could provide the business”. However, if there is anything I have learned during my 4 years at SLA is that expanding a project or growing as a student takes lots of patience and time.

 This is why I will continue working on Skillships through the summer of 2015 with Mayor’s Office of Education and the Jobs & Economics Committee with the Philadelphia Youth Commission to provide every interested student, within the district, with a Skillship of their interest. 

Diagnostic Quiz taken by participants: