Our Origin Story

EmpowerED is an initiative of The Education Trust in Tennessee. Our students, in high school and college across the state, were invited in the spring of 2020 to participate in a virtual panel in order to describe their experience with interrupted learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic. EmpowerED students participate in bi-monthly storytelling workshops and youth development training that are designed to help them narrate their triumphs and struggles as they navigate and adjust to a new learning environment. Ultimately, our students will be empowered to lead the changes they want to see in their schools and communities.

Fundamental to our project is the understanding that for far too often, students are spoken for. Our project believes that if we create a platform for the voices and opinions of students, we will have more just and inclusive decision-making and power structures. By equipping students to tell their own stories, we aim to provide a framework where students are the primary sources of knowledge and are empowered to bring about the change they wish to see in their schools and communities.

Thank you to our partner organizations for nominating EmpowerED students