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Episode 4: Young Changemakers

Even the youngest students can make change in their communities.

Air Date: April 19, 2022

The students and leaders of Kendall-Whittier Elementary in Tulsa, Oklahoma, talk about the Tulsa Changemakers program and how it gives kids a chance to find their voice while they make change in their local communities—before they enter middle school.


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 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
Andrew Spector

Andrew Spector, Co-Founder and Program Director of Tulsa Changemakers

Andrew Spector (Greater Tulsa ’15) is co-founder and program director of Tulsa Changemakers, a youth leadership development and action organization. Since its founding in 2016, Tulsa Changemakers has hired, trained, and supported 62 educators to guide 627 students at 39 schools in Tulsa Public and Union Public Schools to plan, execute, and measure 120 community impact projects. Andrew started Tulsa Changemakers as a Teach For America corps member teaching 6th grade in Tulsa Public Schools. He and his co-founder incubated Tulsa Changemakers under the nonprofit umbrella of Leadership Tulsa, working there as program managers.


Dr. Ronda Kesler

Dr. Ronda Kesler, Principal, Kendall-Whittier Elementary

Dr. Ronda Kesler received her bachelor of science degree from Oral Roberts University and master's degree in administration from Oklahoma University Tulsa. She has taught special education and general education in public schools in the states of Colorado, Washington, and Oklahoma for 20 years, along with homeschooling her four children in their early elementary years. After two years teaching special education at Hamilton Middle School, she became a behavior coach and positive behavior intervention support coach for the district before working as a special education coordinator, assisting 20 schools with special education guidance and support. In 2009, she moved into the capacity of principal at McKinley Elementary School, and in 2011 was asked to move to Kendall-Whittier Elementary where she have been ever since.

Andrea Brush

Andrea Brush, Visual Arts Teacher, Kendall-Whittier Elementary

Born and raised in Colorado, Andrea Brush White (Greater Tulsa ’16) came to Tulsa through Teach For America. With a background in studio art, she is entering her fifth year of teaching and returning to her role as the Kendall Whittier art teacher. Ms. Brush loves the excitement that comes from creating with kids every day and is excited to be engaged with her new team of Changemakers.

Milly Ambriz Perez

Milly Ambriz Perez, Student

Milly Ambriz Perez is a 12-year-old 6th grader at Kendall Whittier Elementary School who loves making change.

Rosa Linda Gam

Rosa Linda Gam, Student

Rosa Linda Gam is a 13-year-old 6th grader at Kendall Whittier Elementary who loves helping her community.

Lola Murray

Lola Murray, Student

Lola Murray is a 5th grader at Kendall Whittier Elementary School who loves being creative and helping her school.

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