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Everyone’s journey looked a little different–whether that be a mindset, culture, or curriculum shift–but there are clear transformations happening.

Changemaker Journey Group ImageJust as it takes a village to raise a child, it takes an ecosystem to raise a changemaker. This ecosystem is created through the collaboration of our community’s institutions—such as schools, companies, and nonprofit organizations—working together to support youth social entrepreneurship.

In our process, we take passionate members of the community through the Changemaker Journey which is designed to unfold over a nine-month period. Key stakeholders are invited to gather for a series of experiences facilitated by Ashoka and MWCC staff and our newly trained Changemaking Trainers. These stakeholders include (but are not limited to) teachers, children, policymakers, and business professionals. We encourage these sessions to have a diverse background of stakeholders that represent the unique members of our community.

Following each full-day co-creation session, we check-in with Changemakers regularly to provide coaching and encouragement. The individuals participating in Changemaking are already Changemakers in a variety of ways. The goal of the co-creation sessions is to amplify their ability to help others in the community find their Changemaking potential and grow confidence in their identity as an empathetic leader.

In addition to supporting the teachers, guidance counselors, professors, and other professionals in the cohort this year, we convened a North Central Mass Change Leadership Team, which consists of senior and inspirational leaders of our partnering organizations—Fitchburg Public Schools, Leominster Public Schools, and Mount Wachusett Community College. Within each of these institutions, it is critical that our Changemaker participants see and experience support and positivity for their attempts to make a difference. The Change Leadership Team is charged with removing barriers to positive change, recognizing effective problem-solving, encouraging learning from failures, and cultivating a culture that nurtures Changemakers.