Nadia Despenza, Director of STEM at YouthBuild Charter School of California — The Path to Higher Ed — Episode 12

The Path to Higher Ed is a SchooLinks hosted podcast community that explores trending topics and issues in the area of college and career readiness. Our featured guests are pushing education forward by constantly learning from, innovating and applying their college and career readiness practices. Listen to gain their insights and apply them to your own college and career readiness practices.

Today we’re speaking with Nadia Despenza, Director of STEM at YouthBuild Charter School of California. She’s running real world programs to teach underserved students real world skills to move forward in their careers after high school.

About Nadia

Nadia is a transformative leader with a passion for helping underserved and underrepresented students in STEM empower themselves to become agents of change. She currently works as the Director of STEM for YouthBuild Charter School of California, a project-based school rooted in social justice for 16–24 year olds. Nadia is a doctoral candidate at Loyola Marymount University in Educational Leadership for Social Justice.

About YouthBuild Charter School of California

YouthBuild Charter School of California (YCSC) holds a unique place in the landscape of California’s public charter schools. As a competency-based dropout recovery school, it seeks to provide a high school education that leads to a diploma for a distinct group of students. YCSC students, who are all between the ages of 16 to 24 years old, come from low-income families and underserved communities, and have previously left or been pushed out of the traditional school system without a diploma. They enroll at YouthBuild programs over-aged, under-credited, or both, in order to receive vocational training, counseling, leadership development and an education.

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