Unleashing young people's power to effect change

  

Fueled by resilience and optimism, young people growing up in Chile's poorest areas can learn to effect real change in their schools and communities, and can envision a brighter future for themselves.

Comunidad Panal is a not-for-profit organization to which Deutsche Bank provides assistance. Its target population is students aged 13 to 17 who are enrolled in public schools that are at the top of Chile's vulnerability index. Panal focuses on the social and emotional development of young people, trains them to change their fixed mindsets and to recognize themselves as change makers.

How it works

Marrying theory with practice, the program teaches students how to leverage character traits like perseverance and curiosity, conscientiousness and optimism, traits associated with – and essential to – success.

Over a five-month period, meeting every Saturday morning, the students learn to identify their core strengths and to see themselves, often for the first time, as individuals who can make real changes in their environment. Guided by experienced Panal educators, the young people identify a problem that needs attention in their schools. They then learn how to convert the problem into a plan of action, and finally, they work collaboratively to implement it. In the process, they come to identify themselves – and to be seen by their peers – as individuals with the grit, determination and confidence to make needed changes in their schools and communities.

Since inception, Comunidad Panal has trained a network of more than 400 students from 18 schools to develop skills and access change-making opportunities in their environment. The program has attracted attention well beyond Chile and has been replicated in four other countries. Going forward, Panal hopes to continue to extend its reach.

What people are saying

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Impact


87% of the young people who start the Panal program go on to graduate.

95% of the graduates want to stay involved in the program and to serve as mentors to other students.

Over the next 3 years, Panal hopes to reach 7,000 students in more than 45 vulnerable Chilean schools.

 


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Last Update: September 28, 2015
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