Empowering learners to think creatively, work collaboratively with others, and implement innovations. 

Senior Mastery Process: Lindsay's Story

It's a small world! 

We were thrilled to run into Lindsay Jenkins, a 2015 graduate of our Henry Ford Academy in Detroit, at an event for the Detroit design community. 

Today, Lindsay is a fashion designer and entrepreneur with a passion for updating 90s fashions for new trendsetters. She describes her emerging clothing line, The Retell Closet, as Detroit-proud, "flamboyant mixed with chic." 

While she comes from a line of fashion designers,  Lindsay was quick to tell us that her HFA Senior Mastery Process (SMP) experience was "life-changing." 

The SMP provides a structured experience in 3 distinct segments: 
  • Career exploration and workplace preparation; 
  • Meaningful internship with an adult supervisor; and 
  • Culminating project with a work product that responds to a challenge the student identified during their internship. 
The work product is presented to an evaluative panel in the Senior Defense.

Lindsay's internship at Bob's Classic Kicks, a popular shoe store in the heart of Detroit's creative corridor, provided invaluable workplace experience. She made her first two dresses during the SMP, and for her final project, created The Retell Closet brand. 

Further evidence of Lindsay's belief in value of the SMP experience? She has provided internships to 13 of the school's students to date, with 4 more planned for this year. She was also the keynote speaker for the middle school's matriculation ceremony last year. 

Since 2001, more than 2600 students have completed the SMP at our Henry Ford Academies. Contact us to learn more about this life-changing student experience.
Traveling Teens Explore Innovation and Entrepreneurship at a Landmark for Ingenuity

A collaboration between HFLI and the Arab-American Women's Business Council
immersed a dozen students from Iraq in a 2-day learning experience at The Henry Ford Museum for American Innovation. Detroit/Dearborn is but one stop on their summer tour of the US.

With the help of an interpreter, HFLI facilitators helped the students learn about:
  • Entrepreneurship as a potential career pathway;  
  • Behaviors/mindsets of innovators;
  • 2-3 Design Thinking tools they can use for innovation (and they practiced using the tools);
  • The history of American innovation through the museum's experiences and artifacts. 
The teens were enthralled with  HFLI's colleague Richard Grundy, who talked with them about the role of technology in entrepreneurship. Richard is a co-founder of JOURNi, a Detroit tech non-profit for youth, and was recently recognized as a BE Modern Man by Black Enterprise.  
Developing Strong, Diverse Educators for Washington Students

Our passion for developing strong, diverse educators for diverse schools took us back to  Heritage 
University last month. 

HU is a private university in Toppenish, Wash. on the Yakama Indian Reservation.

Over 2 days, we provided 30 teachers with  an immersive introduction to tools, mindsets, and strategies that support the use of Design Thinking to strengthen their teaching and students' learning within their elementary programs (with special attention to science and STEM). 

When we returned back to Michigan, a  about culturally relevant instruction for Native American students appeared in the Hechinger Report. We are excited about the potential impact as these HU educators use human-centered design to create deeper learning experiences for their students. 

Black Male Educators Fellowship Kicks Off With Support from MBK Detroit Innovation Challenge

How can educators develop their capacity to respond to  complex issues in their schools? 

It's a question critical to the academic and personal achievement of Detroit students -- and the engagement, retention and advancement of underrepresented educators who can make a significant impact for ALL students. 

This summer, Black Male Educators Alliance of MI (BMEA) and HFLI launched a fellowship for black male educators with an immersive 3-day bootcamp. Fellows worked t hrough self-selected challenges to explore how Design Thinking can help them: 
  • Deepen understanding of a complex situation; 
  • Surface the real crux of the issue; and,
  • Develop a workable response that is more likely to be effective AND culturally responsive. 
The fellows will receive ongoing support, along with $400 Innovation Grants, to advance their projects. Follow up coaching, peer mentoring, 2 additional workshops in the Fall, and a January showcase will round out the Fellowship experience. 

The Developing Strong Black Male Educators Fellowship is supported by a $50,000 MBK Detroit Innovation Challenge grant awarded via The Skillman Foundation following a winning pitch and successful prototype experience. 

Welcome, Iffa!

Iffa Kazi Davis, our new Associate Director, hit the ground running when she joined us in July, right smack in the middle of our busiest time of the year!

Iffa comes to HFLI with experience using Design Thinking to empower organizations to develop and advance innovative programs, strategic plans, and diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives. 

As the Program Manager for the El-Hibri Foundation (EHF), she led projects focused on building capacity of nonprofit leaders through its Executive Nonprofit Management Trainings, advancing the inclusion of minority communities and building working groups focused on collective action. Prior to that, Iffa was the Senior Development and Research Dissemination Officer at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU). 

Iffa earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from University of Michigan-Dearborn, a Master's degree in Business Administration (MBA) from Wayne State University and Project Management certification from Georgetown University.

Feel free to reach out to Iffa and introduce yourself!  idavis@hfli.org 

Big Picture Learning (BPL) Creates a Big Bang in Detroit

When our friends at Big Picture told us of their plan to bring Big Bang (their international conference on student-centered learning) to Detroit this summer, we were eager to contribute to this one-of-a-kind experience!

The BPL planning team paid particular attention to opportunities that would allow participants to get outside, be active, do things that they couldn't do in any other location or through any other convening, and - most importantly - lean way into empathetic practices.

As a result, Big Bang 2019 reached beyond Cobo Hall to locations across the city. Drawing both on place and our particular expertise, we created a Leaving2Learn experience at the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation for 40 educators and students.

Our L2L session highlighted the Henry Ford Academy model (which embeds a public school in a public space) and offered interaction with teacher and student ambassadors, introduced educators and students to Design Thinking, and provided several tools for building empathy. Participants tried out the tools by observing/immersing with exhibits on the expansive Museum floor, and outside in Greenfield Village, as preparation for exploring and discussing issues associated with diversity, equity and/or inclusion. Before leaving, each participant developed a personal action plan for a similar experience back home.
A Score for Henry Ford Academy in San Antonio!

Henry Ford Academy: Alameda School for Art + Design is celebrating the results of the latest Texas Education Agency A-F accountability report cards!

For 2018-2019 the high school earned the following:
  • "A" Financial Rating 
  • "B" Academic Rating
In addition to this noteworthy State report card, the school was recently recognized as a national 2019 P21 Exemplar by Battelle for Kids, a Top HS for the Arts in Texas and THE Top HS for the Arts in San Antonio by Niche. 

Where Can You Find Us?

Detroit Month of Design   | Detroit MI   |   Sept. 1-30  |  Various Events 

Rethink Ed Conference     Kansas City, MO     Sept. 10-12 

NetImpact Conference     Detroit MI   |   Oct. 24-26    Presenting

INCLUDE 2019   |   Detroit MI  Presenting

ENSPIRE Conference    Mayfield Heights OH   |   Nov. 8-9   

Will you be at one of these events, or in the general area? Let's meet up.
20900 Oakwood Blvd.
Dearborn MI 48124

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