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Cushman High School Society & Me Programming: Creating Innovators of Change

At Cushman High School, we believe in nurturing the next generation of innovators and change-makers. Our unique approach to education empowers students to think critically, embrace diversity, and find creative solutions to real-world challenges. Through our innovative programming, we are shaping the leaders of tomorrow.

During their high school journey, Cushman students are challenged by our unique Society and Me (SAM) programming. In this four-year course, students design and implement solutions to issues they identify as critical to the future of our communities, on a local, national, and even global scale. Students are empowered with the time and resources to create their own solutions as part of our student-centered, process-based learning curriculum. Required for all Cushman High School students, SAM is more than community service; it is about creating lasting positive change.

Cushman High School Innovator of Change

About Cushman High School Society & Me Programming

The objective of Society & Me (SAM) is for students to analyze significant contemporary issues, choose one problem to address independently, and propose solutions that have a positive impact on society as a whole. The aim is to inspire students to develop their own perspective on pressing matters and become transformative agents of change.

In addition to conducting individual research, students attend lectures given by college professors and guest speakers who are invited to campus. Under the leadership of SAM instructor Ms. Leah Storie, Cushman educators equip students with the necessary tools and skills to conduct interviews with field experts, formulate problem statements, and find ways to bring about improvements. The topics covered in SAM span a wide range, including hunger, poverty, migration, climate change, human trafficking, body image, adolescent mental health, and gender identity. The ultimate outcome of SAM is a well-informed and engaged teenager who has created a concrete platform showcasing their ability to make a difference!


Successful Projects and Initiatives

At Cushman High School, we take pride in the innovative projects and initiatives that our students have undertaken. These projects not only showcase their creativity and problem-solving skills but also demonstrate their ability to make a positive impact on their communities in Miami and beyond.


In the culmination of all the high school students’ SAM work, a small group is chosen at the end of the school year to present their research, project design, and measurable community impact stemming from the solutions they implemented at the SAMx Showcase.

Each year, the SAMx Showcase demonstrates the innovative nature of this student-centered, process-based learning experience and the ways in which SAM empowers our students to become leaders who positively impact the world. You can check out our 2024 presenters below.

SAMx Presenters 2024


Cushman High School’s Approach to Fostering Innovation

Our approach to fostering innovation is rooted in the belief that every student has the potential to make a positive impact on the world. 

One of the key aspects of our approach is hands-on learning. We provide our students with opportunities to engage in experiential learning, allowing them to apply what they have learned in the classroom to real-world challenges. Whether it’s through project-based learning or service-learning initiatives, our students are given the chance to tackle complex problems and find innovative solutions.

Another important aspect of our approach is collaboration. We believe that innovation thrives in an environment where diverse perspectives are valued and encouraged. That is why we promote a collaborative learning environment where students can work together, share ideas, and learn from one another.

Furthermore, we recognize the importance of embracing failure as a learning opportunity. Innovation often requires taking risks and stepping outside of one’s comfort zone. We encourage our students to embrace failure as a stepping stone towards success, promoting a growth mindset that fuels their drive to innovate.


How Cushman High School Society & Me Programming Prepares Students for the Future

In today’s rapidly changing world, it is crucial for students to be prepared for the future. Cushman’s Society & Me Programming recognizes this and has developed a curriculum that equips students with the skills and knowledge they need to thrive in the 21st century.

In today’s fast-paced society, students need to develop skills such as critical thinking, collaboration, and communication. These skills are not only valuable in the workplace but also in everyday life. By providing students with opportunities to work in teams, present their ideas, and engage in meaningful discussions, we help them develop the tools they need to effectively navigate the complexities of the modern world.

In addition to academic and technical skills, we also prioritize the development of social and emotional intelligence. We believe that success goes beyond academic achievements and encompasses personal growth and well-being. Through our programming, we promote empathy, resilience, and self-awareness, empowering students to become confident and compassionate individuals.

Cushman High School Innovator of Change

The Benefits of Service-Learning

Our curriculum incorporates service learning at every stage, starting from the early years in primary school up through the upper school. Within our school community, this involves taking care of the campus through stewardship, assuming specific roles within the community, and providing peer mentorship and support. It also entails gaining a deeper understanding of the needs of international communities and collaborating with external organizations to effect meaningful changes in people’s lives.

Through service-learning projects and partnerships with local organizations, our students learn the value of compassion and making a positive impact on the world around them. This not only enriches their educational experience but also helps them develop a sense of empathy and social consciousness.

In addition, our dedicated faculty play a crucial role in the success of our programming. With their expertise and passion for teaching, they inspire and motivate students to reach their full potential. They provide guidance and support, fostering an environment where students can thrive academically and personally. 


Conclusion: Empowering the Next Generation of Innovators

Cushman High School Society & Me Programming is dedicated to empowering the next generation of innovators and change-makers. Through our unique approach to education, we provide students with the skills and knowledge they need to thrive in a rapidly changing world.

By fostering a culture of innovation, we encourage students to think critically, embrace diversity, and find creative solutions to real-world challenges. Our comprehensive STEAM curriculum prepares students for success in any field they choose while our emphasis on community engagement and social responsibility instills in them a sense of compassion and the desire to make a positive impact on the world around them.

Cushman High School Innovator of Change