The BHS 21st Century Fund supports faculty-led pilot programs focused on curriculum innovation, fostering academic success and inspiration for all students.
2014 / 2015 VOLUME #3
Welcome to the third edition of the Brookline High School 21st Century Fund eNewsletter for the 2014 / 2015 school year.
Catching Up with Global Leadership  


We are happy to report that the Global Leadership program , which reached the end of its 21st Century Fund piloting cycle at the end of 2014, continues to be a dynamic, challenging and very popular course at BHS . The class exposes students to global economic, social, and political trends and helps them develop the skills and mindsets they need to be compassionate, resourceful and effective leaders in an increasingly global landscape. Forty-five students have applied for the class for 2015-16, well Ben Kahri over the 24 seats available.


Ben Kahrl, BHS Social Studies, is teaching the course this year and is ushering it into the future, adapting the curriculum to the ever-shifting complexities of global discourse and negotiation in the 21st century. We spoke with Ben recently to find out why he took on the course and where he sees it going.


Why did you choose to teach this new course?

Ben: A few reasons, but mainly because I was intrigued by the open-endedness of the kinds of projects it allows. For example, we studied policies for addressing AIDS in different parts of the world and students wrestled with the question: What is the right way to control this disease? We can identify some wrong answers, but there is no single right answer.


Are you making any changes to the curriculum?

Ben: I may be putting the "soft skills" of public speaking and communication skills, as well as the topics of global health and development, more upfront. I'll give you an example. A few weeks ago, I arranged the class in six groups of four students. Each group had to devise a program, with a budget of ten million dollars, which would provide relief for a specific issue in a low-income country. Issues included infant mortality in Nicaragua, TB in Moldova, malnutrition in Myanmar and malaria in Colombia. For the first step, each member of every four-student team was stationed in a different BHS room, so they had to communicate by instant messaging on computers and/or texting on their phones. On the first day, I gave the students an additional hurdle: they could not use English in their communications; instead, they had to rely on whatever other language skills, or Google translate, they could coordinate among themselves. And then there was the unforeseen complication of technical glitches. Students were getting kicked off their networks, so now they had to solve technical problems while addressing their primary problem in a limited amount of time. Students discovered that technical issues have a significant impact on how they communicate--there was no chatting; they got to the bare bones of what they meant. On the second day, students were still stationed in different rooms but they were allowed to use video and English. Though the communication was easier, students found that they were less efficient, more prone to chatting and talking out what they needed to plan and do. They discovered that more limitations made them more incisive. They are learning to be effective and efficient communicators, no small task.


What is your vision of where the course might go from here?

Ben: Going forward, I'd like to possibly involve internships at international agencies in the Boston area, or independent study opportunities during Z block. Global Leadership is a good "feeder" course to the Social Justice Leadership Program and to Amnesty International. I am currently working on an overseas fieldtrip, which I would never consider without a course like Global Leadership at the school. Students can layer on these experiences and develop a wide array of skills, which will allow them to pursue any number of opportunities in the future. Most importantly, they're learning how to step into new situations and handle uncertainty.

AALSP Graduation on June 8, and What an Impressive Year It Has Been!


Chris Vick The BHS African American Latino Scholars Program, established in 2002 with the support of the 21st Century Fund, continues to cultivate and empower a cohort of high achieving students of color at BHS. This year's AALSP senior class has set a new record of accomplishment: the seventeen seniors have generated over five million scholarship dollars for college, an increase of two million dollars from last year. They will be attending such prestigious schools as Harvard, New York University, American University, Morehouse College, Boston University, Boston College, Simmons College, and Northeastern University.


Please come join the BHS community in celebrating this year's AALSP seniors on Monday, June 8, in Brookline High School's MLK Room. Dinner is at 6:00 and the ceremony begins at 6:30.

21st Century Fund Partners with Students
on New Senior to Senior Scholarship
Senior to Senior Fund

A group of BHS Seniors participating in the Entrepreneurship Class has teamed up with the 21st Century Fund and the Alumni Association to create the first annual scholarship funded by seniors, for seniors. Members of the Class of 2015 have the opportunity to donate to the Senior to Senior Scholarship when they sign up for Prom and Cap and Gown online. Two current senior class members will be selected by the Scholarship Committee to receive these funds. By donating, current seniors will be helping a fellow classmate in their future endeavors. The 21st Century Fund and the Alumni Association have promised to match all donations up to a total of $2000. This is a great opportunity for students to learn about philanthropy, and we enthusiastically encourage students of this year's senior class (or anyone!) to participate. Every dollar counts!
June 2015
In This Issue
Catching Up with Global Leadership

AALSP Graduation on June 8

Senior to Senior Scholarship
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