Soapbox Project
Soapbox Project
Soapbox Project is an impact-driven media platform for busy people who want to change the world.

Our First Initiative: Get Schooled Podcast

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Education is at the heart of every social challenge.

Get Schooled takes you on a journey through American education. Get ready to be entertained while you learn the facts about systemic issues that affect our entire society. Get Schooled will make you laugh, keep you woke, and help you win arguments at the dinner table.

What topics will you report on?

Improving education is fundamental to any social issue, so we're reporting on a wide range of interesting topics.

Where can I listen?

You can find our episodes right here on our website, as well as on your favorite streaming platform! We're on pretty much all of them, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, and Google Podcasts.

Episode 11

The Hiring & Firing of Aaron Persky

TRIGGER WARNING - Aaron Persky, the judge who gave Brock Turner only 6 months in prison after he sexually assaulted Chanel Miller behind a dumpster and left her unconscious, was hired to coach tennis at Lynbrook High School. A team of activists, including host Nivi Achanta, Mayer Adelberg, Jackie Lin, and Shivani Kavuluru started petitions and organize to get him fired shortly after. Learn about the story at www.soapboxproject.org and removepersky.com

Episode 10 Part 2

GIANT Ideas for Giant Kids

The GIANT Room is an Innovation Hub for children to discover interests, ideate challenges they care to solve, get messy and bring their ideas into reality. Azadeh Jamalian and Jessica Mezei are two educators with PhDs in New York who want to revolutionize how we perceive children, and how they perceive learning and problem solving. They believe that kids will design the future and are working to give them the skills and mentorship they need.

Episode 10 Part 1

Camp Galileo Wants to Change the World

Galileo Learning's VP of Education, Pamela Briskman, talks about how their summer camp is a powerful program for design thinking and project-based learning - and why these skills are so important to build innovators who want to change the world. Pamela is joined by Mayer Adelberg, a former camper, staff member, and now filmmaker who was hugely influenced by his time at Galileo as a kid. Learn more about their innovator's mindset and find camps here!

Episode 9

Incarceration Nation

On this episode, we get an intimate picture of education in youth prisons and shelters. Nivi interviews Don Ivers, Michael Michel, and Tiffany Lynn, 3 teachers across America with experience in juvenile justice classrooms - they share their stories of job challenges, what people should understand about youth incarceration, and the deep connection between criminal justice and mental health. Read Nivi's reflections on our blog post.

Episode 9: Facts, further reading, and resources

  • There's a trend towards juvenile justice reform and it's seen great results. According to the Pew Institute, the juvenile commitment rate falls by half nationally in 10 years.
  • There is a strong association between access to mental health care and incarceration. This report explains the correlation. In fact, Six out of 10 of the states with the least access to mental health care also have the highest rates of incarceration.

Episode 8

Complicit in Abuse

Vicki, a protective mother and survivor of domestic abuse, shares her story on how her son's school failed to keep him safe - for over five years. She teaches us about the importance of being trauma aware and investing in resources that allow educators and community members to support children who grow up in violent homes.

You can read Nivi's behind-the-scenes thoughts on our blog.

Episode 8: Facts, further reading, and resources

  • Approximately 15.5 million American children were estimated to live in families in which partner violence had occurred at least once in the previous year Source: NIH.gov
  • Naming domestic violence in the classroom "brings it into the light, where children and adults can examine it together in a supportive climate." Source: Edweek
  • This resolution makes child safety a higher priority than the abuser's parenting rights
  • More resources include leadershipcouncil.org, dvleap.org, and coercivecontrol.us

Episode 7

Teacher Appreciation Week Special

Three teachers across America share what it's actually like to be a teacher, things they wish we knew about their jobs, and how the community can give back. Spoiler alert: it includes being an informed, empathetic, and active citizen. Thanks to Michele Wellington, Ale Checka, and Lana Saykali for sharing your stories!

Episode 6

Can Technology Save Education?

Nivi interviews Arjita Sethi, co-founder of Equally, a company whose mission is to give equal education to every student, regardless of their background. Their first initiative is an augmented reality experience called DaVinci Club AR, that lets kids explore, interact with, and learn from the world (and encourages them to look up from their screens)!

Episode 5

Oakland Strikes: Why They Were Such a Big Deal

The magnitude of Oakland Education Association (OEA)'s victory is bigger than most people know. Oakland public school teachers, who were on strike for a week with 97% of students out of schools, had to overcome three massive challenges: the charter school landscape, mass amounts of private money, and AB 1840, an education finance bill that teachers are calling a state takeover of public education. Here's a 5-minute fact snack!

You can learn more at OPEN - Oakland's Public Education Network.

Episode 4

Right to Strike: What you should know about LA

On Monday, January 14, 2019, members of the United Teachers Los Angeles union took to the streets. For six days, they went on strike against the Los Angeles Unified School District for better conditions for their schools and their students. Nivi interviews Maya Suzuki Daniels, a teacher at San Pedro High School, who participated in the strike. They discuss education, resource shortages, and the importance of paying attention.

Episode 3

Under Fire (What happened after Paradise)

What happens to high school students when California's deadliest wildfire burns through their town and everything in its wake? Nivi goes up to Butte County a month after the devastating 2018 Camp Fire to meet with Doria Charlson about her organization, Campanile College Admissions Counseling, and their push to help Paradise High School students attend college, against all odds. Spoiler alert: The problems they find go far beyond the effects of the cataclysm.

Episode 2

Mo Money Mo Problems (Facts About Spending)

How much does America spend on education? Nivi sets out to answer this question in a bite-sized episode and let Get Schooled listeners know the facts about how our schools are funded. The answer is far, far more complicated than she thought it would be. This 5-minute episode breaks down where money comes from. Happy snack time!

You can read the full report on our blog.

Episode 1

Horror Stories from First Year Teachers

Nivi, the host of Get Schooled Podcast, gets the inside scoop from Lana Saykali, our podcast’s co-founder, about what it's like to be a first-year teacher. Join the Get Schooled team in a wild journey following teachers from around the country - you'll hear about the horrors and the highs and how you can support teachers in your community.