Key Takeaway: Building global perspective among low-income students by studying abroad.
“Perhaps my Black womanhood didn’t fit the traditional administrator mold,” said India Hui, who worked in predominately white school districts for six years.
Hui created and serves as the founding leader of Thrival World Academies: Indy, a charter school that focuses on personalized learning, experiential learning, and global perspectives. Thrival World Academies is a one-year program for high school juniors. Students spend half the year in Indianapolis and then three and a half months studying abroad—this year in Thailand and Laos.
In summer 2017, Hui became one of the new Mind Trusted Fellows. As part of the fellowship’s challenge to create innovative educational solutions, she wanted to introduce a more global approach and perspective on education for students, especially those from low-income backgrounds who had never traveled.
However, selling parents on the idea of an intensive study abroad program met some initial resistance. Hui explained that she had one prospective student who told her, “black people don’t fly.”
“It has been the struggle. But I am getting through to families,” admits Hui.
The idea of an intensive study abroad program met some initial resistance. Hui said parents eventually came around to the idea, and 20 students enrolled for the pilot program at Indy.
Hui credits her students for helping her reach these goals.
“My students told me not to give up on myself,” said Hui. “So, I would pass that along to future school leaders. Be secure in who you are, and know divine order is real. It will all work out the way it is supposed to.”
Indy is making a real difference. In one of the lowest-performing districts in Indianapolis, where more than 80 percent of students are eligible for free or reduced-priced lunch, students are expected to make strong academic gains. Thrival World Academies students at the flagship school site in Oakland have demonstrated two grade levels of academic growth in a single year.
Photos Courtesy of Thrival World Academies: Indy
To learn more about Thrival World Academies: Indy, click here.