Despite our claims of being the best, the American education system isn’t as great as we’d like to think. From an overly US-centric focus and a whitewashing of history to concerns about students being taught to pass tests rather than to truly learn, there’s a lot of room for improvement. Luckily, there are people fighting for change, including a young woman named Deborah Olatunji.
Although she’s only a freshman in college now, Deborah has written a book, Unleashing Your Innovative Genius: High School Redesigned, about how to empower her generation with a new education system that caters to their growth and development. She hosts the Voices of Disruption podcast, a platform dedicated to inspiring Gen Z-ers to step into their power. She’s also one of nine board members of a nationwide, youth-driven, New York-based non-profit organization called GripTape; their mission is to provide youth with decision-making control over what and how they learn and the resources to do so.
In our new podcast – and the first video podcast we’ve done! – Deborah shares her perspective on what’s wrong with the American education system, ideas on how to improve it, and, ultimately, how to turn failure into fortitude.
Watch our video podcast with Deborah Olatunji below:
Starting our podcast, we ask Deborah how she’s accomplished so much already, even though she’s still in her teens. She shares some of the key moments that inspired her to make a difference and strive for educational improvements.
We then dive into the problems present our educational system. But we don’t stop there; Deborah also shares tangible steps we can take to achieve change.
Deborah then talks about her mission to turn failure into fortitude. For her, that idea started with a failed biology test. Luckily, she turned that around into a plan to redesign our high schools.
Deborah shares her perspective on Black history and how it’s taught in American schools (spoiler: not very well). We talk about some of the tough conversations that we as a society need to have, relating to anti-racism and recognizing the multi-generational effects policies have.
After talking about Deborah’s new podcast, Voices of Disruption, we end this conversation with the lessons she’s learned in 2020. It’s been a roller-coaster of a year, but Deborah shares what she’ll bring with her into 2021.
Learn more about changing the American education system in our podcast below!
You can learn more about Deborah Olatunji at her official website here. Be sure to also check out her podcast, Voices of Disruption. Finally, read her inspiring book, Unleashing Your Innovative Genius: High School Redesigned.
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