San Antonio/ Community & Society
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Published on June 21, 2024
San Antonio's CAST Tech High School Champions Student-Led Innovation with "Legacy Projects"Source: Google Street View

At CAST Tech High School in San Antonio, students are not just absorbing information but are actively shaping the future of their education and their community. One of the programs highlighting this innovative approach is the "Legacy Projects," which, as San Antonio Report notes, gives seniors the chance to pitch ideas to better their school environment and set the stage for future generations. Jonathan Gilbert and his team, for instance, put forward a mentorship proposal during Senior Showcase Night, aiming to assist younger peers in navigating the high school's career-centric pathways.

According to San Antonio Report, CAST's involvement in the Future Ready Bexar County Plan underscores its commitment to incorporating student perspectives in every aspect of its operation. This dedication aimed to both prepare students for success and to constantly redefine and to improve the educational experience through active student engagement. A striking example is the student-led newspaper, CAST INK, launched by seniors including Nikolas Maldonado, who expressed, “We write for the students as a student. It is not perfect or polished. Other newspapers have their own guidelines and templates. [CAST INK] showcases student impact and embodies what CAST is — a creative voice,”

First-generation college students have also found a voice through these legacy projects. As The San Antonio Report profiled, Joaquin Cuellar and his group felt the need for improved support for students like themselves. They urged the school to start college prep conversations as early as 9th grade, including activities like campus visits and specialized coursework to bridge the information gap often experienced by students and their parents, particularly those new to the college experience.

CAST's approach goes beyond traditional student consultations like advisory councils and surveys. As noted by Kendra Garza, CAST Tech project-based learning lead, "During CAST Tech’s year-long legacy process, students identify a driving question, research, test ideas, and engage with industry professionals to learn how to leave both a legacy and a reflection."

This empowering framework extends across all CAST Schools. For example, at CAST Med, student projects like Club D.E.P.O.T. (Diabetes Education and Prevention Organized Team) aim to tackle real-world health issues head-on by collaborating with local stakeholders to promote diabetes prevention. And back at CAST Tech, success stories like Fernando Garcia, who helped to establish an Esports team, demonstrate the lasting impact these opportunities can have on students' confidence and career trajectories.