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Teen Life in Wilmington, Systems Thinking, and Updates

Teen Life in Wilmington, Systems Thinking, and Updates
By Zack Jones • Issue #67 • View online

Teen Life in Wilmington
Invisibilia - Post, Shoot
Invisibilia visits Wilmington, Delaware, the most violent city in the U.S. to be a teenager and the city in which I work and live.
The episode examines how social media can have drastic consequences on real life. Is your appearance on Instagram your real self? Is a social media post enough to motivate someone to shoot?
The online world teens inhabit is drastically different from the one we grew up in. This episode provides a powerful account of what is happening on a day to day basis for teens across the country.
The Warehouse Teens Present to the Governor
While there a lot of difficulties plaguing teens in the city of Wilmington, The Warehouse was started to address the root cause of these problems by providing a space for teens, and coordination of the teen-service provider network across the most vulnerable zip codes in northern Delaware.
So far, the Warehouse has hired ten teens and launched a pilot with two middle schools in Wilmington. The teens are trained in design thinking and leadership and are paid to run an after school program for middle school students. The program incorporates near peer mentorship, relationship-building and skill development.
A few weeks ago, the teens were invited to Dover, Delaware to present this program to the Governor as a model that could scale to employ more teens, and help middle school students through a complicated time in their lives.
I took this video to document their trip and I’m excited to share it here! I’ve been playing around with taking and editing video, and I think this is my favorite one yet.
Design Thinking? Systems Thinking? What's the Difference?
We recently re-worked the Dual School curriculum to include more explicit work around systems thinking. I knew it was important to have students to address root causes of problems rather than symptoms, but I didn’t quite understand how systems thinking and design thinking related to each other.
This article in the Stanford Social Innovation Review explains clearly where design thinking can fall short and how combining it with systems thinking can amplify your impact.
Social Media App-Less
I deleted the Twitter, FB, Insta and LinkedIn apps on my phone a few weeks ago. I am now experiencing life without a newsfeed.
I still habitually pick up my phone and look for an app to open, but now I have nowhere to click. My screen time is down 10-20%. A lot of the time when I might have been scrolling through social media is now spent reading articles in email, safari and pocket.
I still check FB and Twitter every once a while on desktop, but I’m not eager to reinstall any of the apps on my phone.
Updates
The Dual School cohort is in full swing! Feel free to visit at 1313 Innovation on a Tuesday or Wednesday anytime from 3-6pm.
Last week, we trained six new facilitators to lead project-based work with teenagers. Hopefully over the next few months we will see about 20 more young people activated as problem-solvers in their communities. One group will be working on access to resources for Latino families in Sussex County, Delaware. The other group will be seeking to understand the current state of teen-serving programs in Wilmington to find opportunities, gaps and potential collaborations.
Thanks for reading!
Zack
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Zack Jones

Thoughts about education, entrepreneurship and creativity. Updates from my journey along the way.

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