Institute for Social Impact Executive Director Laura Day leads simulations and immersions for Hockaday students throughout the year in order to better understand the issues through experience. These simulations include poverty, homelessness, food desert, and stray animal.
Upper School students may elect to participate in an environmental justice tour of South Dallas. The tour includes an illegal dumping site, a neighborhood flood plain, and measurements of air quality. The Community Service Board shares a meal and conversation with adult leaders in the West Dallas neighborhood and then tours and spends the night at Wesley-Rankin Community Center.
The Sophomore class’ grade theme is Empathy. At the beginning of the year they went on a retreat for a poverty simulation with COPE (The Cost of Poverty Experience). This simulation “offers participants a glimpse into the lives of low-income individuals and families living in our community; The obstacles that are faced, the decisions that are made, and the consequences that impact these families every day.” The experience was co-designed with low-income individuals. The hope is that this will catapult these students into service and give them the skills to develop better knowledge, relationships and empathy.
“Most of all (the institute) helps us recognize the privilege we have at Hockaday and how much power we have in making a difference. There is growth in helping students to read and you can see an impact on a greater scale. I can see how society can shift towards effective change. “ – Hockaday 2018 graduate.