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Episode 3: Culture, Community, and Care

When students advocate for themselves, inclusive learning leads the way.

Air Date: April 5, 2022

DreamHouse ‘Ewa Beach, a public charter school in Hawai‘i, is an oasis for self-discovery and expression. In this episode, DreamHouse teachers share how students leverage unique aspects of their identity to lead and cultivate community inside and outside the classroom.


About the Show

Changing Course is a podcast from Teach For America’s One Day Studio that explores what’s possible when schools empower students in their own educational paths. Every episode, host Jonathan Santos Silva shares stories from students, teachers, and administrators about how they’ve reinvented traditional approaches to traditional education.

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Meet the Host
Jonathan Santos Silva

Jonathan Santos Silva

Jonathan Santos Silva (South Dakota ‘10) is the Founding Executive Director of The Liber Institute and creator and host of The Bored of Ed, a podcast that amplifies the voices of inspiring BIPOC educators who are changing the face of education. He has provided technical support to South Dakota’s Native American Achievement Schools and has served as a school founder and principal, instructional coach, and education consultant.

Featured in This Episode
Alex Teece

Alex Teece, Chief Education Officer & Founder, DreamHouse ‘Ewa Beach

Alex Teece (Hawai‘i ’08) is currently the chief education officer and school leader of DreamHouse ‘Ewa Beach, Hawai‘i’s newest and fastest-growing public charter school. A member of the founding team, Alex has worked closely with community leaders, educators, parents, children, and stakeholders to launch DreamHouse. He is responsible for overseeing the academic, organizational, and financial performance of the school, working closely with his school team, the school governing board, and the DreamHouse non-profit to ensure student and school success.

Adrienne Brown

Adrienne Brown, Special Education & Student Success Coach

Adrienne Brown (Hawai‘i ’18) is originally from Orangeburg, South Carolina, and taught special education for 14 years before joining Teach For America. In her current role as a special education and student success coach at DreamHouse, she leads redesigning and re-imaging what education looks like, when rooted in students' identity and community.

Ryan Mandado

Ryan Mandado, Chief Academic Officer & Coach

Ryan Mandado (Hawai‘i ’15) is an educator, school leader, and community advocate. He is the founding chief academic officer of DreamHouse ‘Ewa Beach Public Charter School, a new school focused on leadership, identity, and community development. Ryan started his journey as a special education teacher through Teach for America, teaching at James Campbell High School, where he also served as the special education department chair. Passionate about community service, Ryan spent his nights teaching adults who were going back to school to get their GED, as well as serving as chairman of his neighborhood board for four years.

Kristina M.K. Viloria

Kristina Viloria, Social Studies Teacher & Coach

Kristina Viloria (Hawai‘i ’16) is a proud DreamHouse ‘Ewa Beach 7th grade founding school leader. She served as the 7th grade student success coach, supporting and advocating for all learners. Kristina understands the importance of culturally responsive teaching and place-based learning and intentionally finds ways to incorporate these practices into her teaching. Kristina was born and raised in Kekaha, Hawai‘i  and is an alum of University of Hawai‘i Mānoa and Chaminade University of Honolulu.

Reese Ann Kaleikaumaka Gray

Reese Ann Kaleikaumaka Gray, Student

Reese is a proud Native Hawaiian and Filipino student leader from ‘Ewa, Hawai‘i. She is passionate about sports, art, learning new things, fashion, photography, and public speaking. She believes she is a leader because she loves working in groups with other people and uses her voice to advocate for her peers.

Jaylen Kealohapauoleonamakua Rabago

Jaylen Kealohapauoleonamakua Rabago, Student

Jaylen is a proud multiracial (Native Hawaiian, Puerto Rican, Filipino, and Caucasian) student leader from Kapolei, Hawai‘i. She is passionate about advocating for minority groups, especially groups that align to her identities. She loves coding and wants to use skills in programming to design technology that advocates for people. She believes she is a leader because she uses her voice to help others.

Aiden Abes

Aiden Abes, Student

Aiden Abes is from ‘Ewa Beach, Hawai‘i. He is proud to be Filipino. He is passionate about pro-gaming and is looking for ways to using gaming as a way to transform communities in Hawai‘i. He believes he is a leader because he likes helping other people and is committed helping his peers develop goals for their futures. 

Hailey Ho

Hailey Ho, Student

Hailey is a proud multiracial (Native Hawaiian, Chinese, and Portuguese) student leader from Kapolei, Hawai‘i. Her ultimate career goal is to work for Pixar as a computer programmer to tell stories of different people. She believes she is a leader because she tasks risk to pursue her passions. She is curious, has a growth mindset, and is willing to participate in new learning experiences.

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