As the Internship Coordinator at DSST-Cole, Maggie Dering noticed a disturbing disconnect in her efforts to get high school students connected to real-world experiences that support their life and career goals. Research shows that being involved in an extracurricular activity lowers drop out rates, raises grades, and increases a students' odds of attending college. The problem is that, in many cases, students are simply unaware that these opportunities are out there and miss out on a potentially life altering experience. Additionally, many of the programs suffer from unfilled roles, low applicant numbers, and lack of diversity. Maggie developed the idea for Involve Board to address this disconnect and ensure that all Colorado high schoolers have a way to connect to valuable experiences.
Involve Board builds off a weekly list Maggie sends to her current students with various community opportunities, ranging from he Denver Mayor’s Youth Commission to Cornell’s Female Engineering Program and anywhere in between. She has witnessed firsthand how these programs can impact students’ lives and help them find their passions, and she began to ask herself ‘how could I reach even more students?’ Involve Board serves as a one-stop shop for high school students to browse opportunities and filter them based off of their interests, such as art, stem, business, etc. It also helps organizations because can easily upload information about their programs and opportunities for students, parents, and schools to see.
Maggie created a prototype of the site last spring and tested it on various students and teachers. Maggie pitched the Involve Board concept in the May 2017 Design Challenge and was awarded $10,000 to support the testing and build out of the full Involve Board platform. The site fully launched during the 2017-2018 school year, and Maggie is currently developing content for the site and recruiting student users to test the functionality of the site.
Click here for an update on Involve Board’s work over the 2017-2018 school year.
Research shows a correlation between high school students engagement in meaningful extracurricular and lower drop out rates, better grades, and college acceptance. Involve Board aims to connect students to opportunities that are already out there to help them find their passions and potentially change their lives. Involve Board will be the One-stop shop for student opportunities and summer programs in Denver and across the nation.
To date, Involve Board has: