"Some students have just given up in this distance learning," says 11th grade co-designer Andre. "This program offers that sense of hope that students desperately need in these trying times. We're actually putting more effort into what we do because we're not getting graded, and I credit that to the design thinking process."
"A lot of kids, they just do things they think they think will help them get into college, and they're really sad about it," says Natalie, a co-designer who looks forward to working with incoming interns. "I want these students to feel the same excitement and joy in learning that I am right now -- an experience that makes them want to learn more."
"With this program, I'm learning communication skills, confidence, I'm being taught those skills here, instead of a constant focus on taking tests that really don't measure my intelligence or my aptitude for college," Andre adds.
Students' design areas vary widely. One of the co-designers is fascinated by jet fuel combustion, and that is her focus over the next several weeks. Another girl worries about anxiety and depression, and is prioritizing social emotional health and psychology. Others are examining finance and data, engineering, and interior design. One intern with an enthusiasm for politics is launching a project to register or pre-register classmates to vote.
"We're helping other students learn what they want to do in the workforce, and give them a headstart in their career," says Joseph, also a co-designer. "I think in a couple of years through this [WorkWonder], we're going to see a whole bunch of people in our local communities benefit because this program existed."