Published: March 26, 2018

KGNU AMPLIFY Public Achievement

From left to right, March 28 AMPLIFY guests from the CU Boulder Public Achievement Program include Connie Hernandez, Soraya Latiff and Xing He.

AMPLIFY's March 28 Edition highlights the work of CU Boulder's Public Achievement Program.

During the show, host Jennifer Ciplet is joined in the KGNU studio by three guests, all of whom are involved with the Public Achievement youth-led civic engagement program. The conversation includes their reflections about working with middle and high school aged youth who are becoming agents of change, the challenges of mentoring youth in a non-hierarchical way, and the benefits and rewards of youth-to-youth collaboraiton for civic engagement and social change.

Participating in the March 28 conversation is Soraya Latiff, Program Coordinator for Public Achievement at CU Boulder; Xing He, a third year undergraduate student at CU Boulder and a Leeds School of Business student. Xing is a Teaching Assistant in Public Achievement and also participated in the Public Achievement (PA) program for four years when he was a high school student at Centaurus High School in Lafayette, CO, before he came to CU Boulder and became a PA coach and Teaching Assistant. And finally, Connie Hernandez also joined the conversation. Connie is a fourth year undergraduate student at CU Boulder who has been leading with Public Achievement as a coach and Teaching Assistant for the past three semesters.


To listen to the March 28 Edition of AMPLIFY:

  • tune into KGNU at 9am on Wednesday, March 28
  • listen online anytime after the show airs via our Soundcloud page
  • subscribe to AMPLIFY on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts (search "Amplify CU Engage")

KGNU AMPLIFY Public AchievementMore about Public Achievement

In Public Achievement (PA), CU Boulder undergraduate students serve as coaches alongside K-12 students in Boulder and Lafayette. Together, students participate in a year-long cycle of inquiry and action around school and community based social justice issues. All participants gain insight on community leadership, the foundations of social change, and the power of relationships. As an undergraduate in the program, students take the academic course INVS 2919 “Renewing Democracy in Communities and Schools". During the weekly seminar, students consider the relationship between democracy, education, and social change. The content of the seminar urges students to reflect on the responsibility that society and schools have to promote civic engagement, social inquiry, and equity. In addition to exploring critical and democratic theories, students are introduced to youth civic engagement, culturally relevant pedagogy, and how to facilitate participatory action research to support individuals and youth in using their voice and skills to make an impact. Once a week, undergraduate students leave the CU Boulder campus to meet with K-12 students at Manhattan Middle School, Angevine Middle School, Casey Middle School or Centaurus High School to research and take action on issues the younger students have selected based on their own interests, values and lived experience.

CU Boulder undergraduate PA Teaching Assistants, like today's guests Xing and Connie, help lead Public Achievement with progressive pedagogical and community organizing strategies that encourage critical analysis and civic creativity among their CU peers and K-12 students. The University of Colorado Boulder’s Public Achievement program is housed within CU Engage, the university-wide Center for Community-Based Learning and Research. More than 250 K-12 students and 80 CU undergraduates collectively participate in the PA program each year.