George Washington Carver High School for the Sciences (GWCHSS) employs an online platform of videos and resources that reflect the cultural experiences of young Black and Latino males. GWCHSS has found that this content is critical to recreating culturally-relevant educational connections among its targeted student population. School Advisors begin by watching the videos with students. Each video features a teen’s true experience about the challenges that Black and Latino male students face.
In this video Victor Ramirez says he was twelve when he started smoking cigarettes. Marijuana followed and soon, getting high before and after school “became natural. Smoking weed, drinking alcohol, he “thought he was set.” Then selling drugs to support his habit led to his arrest – and rehabilitation. His dad, who admits his own drug use, contends that Victor was taught right from wrong and made some bad choices. Learn about the unintended consequences of our decisions and our upbringing.
Online correlated Weekly Guides enable GWCHSS Advisors to quickly review and facilitate lesson plans, which include discussion prompts, self-reflection questions and student activities. GWCHSS has found that the Connect with Kids peer-to-peer model helps improve school climate and increase positive student behavior.
Discussion and Self-Reflection Questions
- Victor’s dad said that he had a choice to use or not to use drugs. Do you think his dad’s admitted drug use contributed to his problem? Did Victor really have a choice? Why or why not?
- There’s a common saying that you can choose your friends but you cannot choose your family. What are some of the positive aspects of your family life that influence you? What are some of the negative aspects that you have to work to overcome?
- In the video, Victor says “you don’t think about none of your priorities when you get high.” How did using marijuana interfere with his priorities?
- What are some other challenges and obstacles that can interfere with priorities? How would you define your priorities?
We know that there are lots of roadblocks and challenges that can interfere with reaching a goal. Ask students to think about the challenges, the triumphs, the accomplishments and the failures they have experienced so far in their middle and high school years. Then ask, who has helped you along the way? Who and what has challenged you along the way? Where do you hope the maze will lead?
Have students complete the attached AMAZE ME! Worksheet. Ask students to write an ultimate goal and inside the maze along the maze, identify obstacles that block achieving that goal along with those who can support them in their efforts to clear the path and reach their goal.