I believe we can teach, at an early age, that public service is noble and worthy of our best effort. I believe we can teach, at an early age, the skills needed to identify, quantify, execute and solve our society’s most pressing social issues. I believe these pursuits to be noble.


Steve Clark, Founder & Chairman | Noble Impact


As the first initiative of Noble Impact, the Institute launched July 8th, 2013 and welcomed 32 students to the Clinton School of Public Service. The inaugural two-week program culminated with final pitches to an esteemed panel of judges and community partners. Each team was presented a organizational issue that needed an idea for a solution. The winning team pitched a strategy to solve a truancy issue at Hall High School. Click here to see the winning team receive their award.


If you would have asked me a month ago, “What could you do to change the world?” I wouldn’t be able to answer that at all. But now I’ve learned that anyone can make a difference no matter what age, what size, what color, what anything.
- Jordan Young, Sophomore | eStem Public Charter High School


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Steve Clark

Founder & Chairman | Noble Impact

Eric Wilson

Eric Wilson

CEO | Noble Impact


Chad Williamson

Co-Founder & Partnerships | Noble Impact



Katie Milligan

Director of Programs | Noble Impact


Lindsey Garland

Logistics | the INSTITUTE


Derrick Rainey

Staff Facilitator | the INSTITUTE


Jeremy Boeh

Guest Facilitator | the INSTITUTE


Nikolai DiPippa

Clinton School Liaison & Staff Facilitator | Noble Impact




the Pillars


An excerpt from President Clinton’s speech at Georgetown University – April, 2013.


“It is necessary to think about what you’re doing…to have some idea. It seems to me that if you want to take service seriously, whether you want to be a political candidate or just a person who does right, there are four requirements:”

1. “You should be obsessively interested in people…especially people who are different than you. You should want to understand them, you should want to understand how they perceive the world and how they perceive what they need and what their dreams are.”

2. “You should care about principles…about the end of all this. What is the purpose of service? What’s the role of government, what’s the role of NGO’s? How do you organize this in your mind? Why are you doing this?”

3. “What are the policies that you believe will advance those purposes?”

4. “Whether you’re running for anything or not…what are the politics of the situation? How are you going to turn your good intentions into real changes?”




All students become contributing citizens of society.


Noble Impact engages students to pursue public service as entrepreneurs.


1. We believe in the power of students.
2. We see opportunity everywhere.
3. We are committed to service.


All students commit to moving humanity forward through urgent action and value creation.

We promise to:

  • Eliminate apathy towards serving others
  • Act out of opportunity not obligation
  • Focus on ideas and impact to address community issues
  • Instill the values of: rigor, creativity, collaboration
  • Devise relevant educational programs
  • Create practical models of success and sustainability

What Makes Us Different


Our students are focused on impact that creates value, first and foremost for the people they are servicing. To this end, students incorporate concepts related to identifying community issues through significant inquiry. In essence, they embrace issues and seek to create opportunities with a new approach. We believe in always questioning the impact and making sure that it’s Noble…this is the essential question that connects a public service mindset to an entrepreneurial skillset.


We challenge our students to think big, and we want them to frame issues as opportunities to engage in social change. We believe that students have or can find the answers, therefore, we act as mentors, facilitators, and coaches. Our challenge to each student is to connect to themselves and also to those they serve, first as individuals and ultimately in service to the community. This involves critical thought and understanding of a personal narrative that connects with a greater purpose.


From day one, our students address issues and build solutions by starting with a viable vision of what success looks like. Our students understand that each idea must be desirable by stakeholders, which requires them to engage in listening with intent. Once they identify the “root” issue, they are able to move forward with ideas around a solution. A successful solution is directly related to community engagement and therefore addresses the issue.


Through a public service mindset and entrepreneurial skillset, our students develop the understanding that service is Noble and worthy of significant investment. With a practical / hands-on approach, our students learn by doing and stay mindful of being creators more than consumers. Students will constantly be challenged to reflect on WHO they are impacting and WHY they are doing the work they are doing.





High School

Noble Impact launched the INSTITUTE as the first of its kind summer program committed to students that are curious about understanding a public service mind-set and an entrepreneurial skill-set to create social change. In partnership with the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service, the INSTITUTE addresses the dialectic between public service and entrepreneurship, which challenges each student through practical approaches to “making a difference” in their community.


Spanning ten days, students at the INSTITUTE are challenged to think about community issues, ideas for solutions, and ultimately, creating sustainable impact. The curriculum is guided through a three-tiered approach known as the IGT Process:


Core to the INSTITUTE philosophy, the IGT Process culminates with a final presentation by student teams. Students are coached on the “pitching process” and then critiqued by an esteemed panel of judges, including the community partners. These presentations are four minutes in length and explain the specific issue related to each organization, as well as providing a possible solution.

Noble Impact is committed to students that want to “make a difference” and believes that students have the ability to be primary change makers and doers in their community. Starting with the individual, curriculum is focused on personal growth through civic engagement, and thus fosters development that builds a culture of creativity and collaboration for all involved.


Students with TED-Education Speaker, Malcolm London

Elementary School

In an effort to expand programming throughout k-12, Noble Impact launched the INSTITUTE in an elementary setting with a condensed version of the ten-day high school curriculum. With a similar approach, the elementary program followed the IGT Process through a four-day afternoon program.


The culminating project consists of student teams pitching solutions to school specific issues. Each pitched is performed to an audience of parents, teachers, administrators, and PTA members.

Parent testimonial about 4th grade daughter, Alexis:

“It gave her more confidence to share her voice. She learned to have a stronger belief in her ideals and that she can share those with others without feeling intimidated.”


A critical element of all Noble Impact curriculum is rooted in conscious and intentional reflection. This process is incorporated on a daily basis and acts as the culminating segment of each day. Students reflect with different strategies developed in conjunction with the elementary facilitators.



High School

Noble Impact 101 is a year long course developed to provide the foundations of understanding in regards to the connection between public service and entrepreneurship. It continues the philosophy of the Institute and challenges students through three specific areas of action: as individuals, as groups, and as teams. Unlike the Institute, the Course has an increased amount of time to drill deeper into the definition and action of public service and entrepreneurship. Students are provided with many opportunities to connect classroom theory with community practical action.


Foundational elements of the Course connect an entrepreneurial skillset with a public service mindset. Within these tenants of the Course, also stand four distinct pillars of Public Service that are defined by President Clinton, beginning with people.





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What is your intent?

By Katie Milligan

On Friday mornings in a classroom of the Bowen Law school you can expect to hear excited chatter and feel a buzz of energy from the new class of Clinton School students. Today was no different. Today Dean Emeritus and Distinguished Professor of Law and Public Policy, John DiPippa, taught “Foundations of Public Service” to a class of forty-two of the newest group of public servants. Chad and I had the opportunity to sit in on the class.


As a recent Clinton School grad, I am very familiar with Dean DiPippa’s teaching style. He usually starts by giving you some huge, complex ethical question, like “What is public service? Who are good public servants? What or who is the public? What is public good?” You take a deep breath because you think there is no way that you can answer those types of questions in two hours.


Slowly but surely, a magical thing starts to happen. Your genius classmates begin imparting wisdom. They start talking from their own experiences, from across continents, occupations, and ages. You start hearing anecdotes and insights that spark new conversations and take your entire class to a higher level of conversation and understanding…all the while Dean DiPippa paces the floor and inserts witty commentary or decides to play devil’s advocate to spin the conversation on its head.


Today, Dean DiPippa started the class by asking Class 9, “what public servant inspired you?” “What were the qualities these public servants had?” Over and over Chad and I heard variations of key words: integrity, boldness, passion, commitment, willingness to share credit, and selflessness. These are the qualities that Noble Impact emphasizes to our scholars and students throughout the Institute and now in the classroom.


Public service isn’t about credit or about the glitz and glamour. True public service needs to constantly question intent and motivation. It is about being purposeful through actions to help the greater good. All public servants should routinely conduct a heart-check. Are you doing it for the credit? Are your intentions Noble?


Maybe the best way to explain it is exactly what Dean DiPippa said to us, “Public Service is an attitude, as much as a set of skills.”


It was fantastic to see the Clinton School students discuss and challenge one another and to hear their insights. Big thanks to Class 9 and Dean DiPippa for letting us come visit! We’ll be back for sure.

  Posted by lgarland on September 14, 2013

The Intern Chronicles: A Thank You Overdue

Lindsey Garland

“They inspire you, they entertain you, and you end up learning a ton even when you don’t know it” –Nicholas Sparks

Okay, I just quoted Nicholas Sparks. I am completely aware of how embarrassing and cheesy and pre-teen girl that is. But it is a good quote, and one that fits well with my post this week.

Working for Noble Impact this summer has been my honor. I ended up here by some bizarre twist of fate and association. I have been the pawn of intern-hopscotch, jumping from office-to-office, advisor-to-advisor, and position-to-position. In the dizzy of new duties and new assignments I acquired more than just a longer to-do list, I was blessed with the gift of phenomenal mentors.

Chad Williamson and Katie Milligan have become more than just bosses to me. Being the three full-time staff located in Little Rock has meant frequent and lengthy meetings, more Boulevard Bread Company than any person should consume, and phone calls, emails, texts, tweets, and telegraphs at all hours of the night.

But they’ve given me so much more than letters to edit and blogs to write. In the craziness that ensued this summer Chad and Katie have taught me what passionate collaboration looks like. They have validated my work ethic, abilities, and strengths. They have given me confidence in my voice, as well as pushed me to speak louder.

They have been my biggest advocates while simultaneously challenging my thoughts every step of the way. They involved me in the conversations interns only expect to hear between dropping off coffee and making copies.

And that is the most precious and meaningful thing Katie and Chad have done.

They never once treated me like just an intern. They invested their time and energy into making sure I met the right people, attended important events, and always introduced me as one of the team, never the temporary and replaceable college kid.

Everyday with Chad and Katie was legitimately fun and simultaneously rich with priceless content. And I was never pushed outside of the ring to just observe, I was always a part of the dialogue, my opinions were valued, and my hard work acknowledged. They never once second-guessed my abilities, even when I was utterly clueless.

Now I’m here, 3 months and 1 internship later, and the lessons I’ve learned this summer are starting to come into focus.

Katie and Chad taught me a lot. As Katie has said on multiple occasions, they “threw me to the wolves” quite often. But they always had confidence in my ability to figure it out.  And I think that is really what Noble Impact is all about—believing in young minds.

“We believe every student is a genius.” I cannot tell you how many times Chad has dropped that line. But I’m here to testify that the Noble Impact team genuinely believes it.

It’s in their actions. It’s in the way they trust organic learning. It’s in the way they treated our Noble Scholars. It’s in the way they treated this intern.

I hope my time with Noble Impact is just beginning, and I cannot imagine this internship is the end of my journey with Chad and Katie, but if for some unforeseen reason it is, at least I will leave with one startlingly rewarding truth:

I got to be a genius, even if only for one summer. And I can never thank Chad or Katie enough for that gift.

Until next time,

The Intern

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  Posted by lgarland on August 16, 2013

The Intern Chronicles: The New Interns pt. 2

Ki’Am Abraham

My name is Ki’Am Abraham and I am a senior at eStem High School, but I am more than just a name and a student. My family considers me an “old soul” because for the first half of my life, I basically lived with my great-grandparents, which consisted of listening to Blues, Jazz, and working on the backyard garden.

My granny was a diabetic and would call me “Nurse Abraham” every day I gave her the insulin she so desperately needed. I didn’t know it then, but that would catalyze my desire to help people. At that age, I didn’t know how I could actually make a difference. It wasn’t until I was in 10th grade and heard about the PeaceCorps that I knew that was exactly what I wanted to do.

Ever since making that decision, I’ve been trying to find projects to fill the void until I’ve gotten my degree and can actually apply. I even have a trip to Turkey in the works to teach children English as a second language. I didn’t know there would be an organization that specializes in what I’m passionate about – public service. I think this is why I was so drawn to Noble Impact when my counselor first told me about it. There was no way I could turn this opportunity down.

By doing this internship I hope to see first hand, the change I’m contributing to. I hope to forever leave my mark at eStem and leave a path for any student that wishes to follow my footsteps to Noble.

  Posted by lgarland on August 13, 2013

The Intern Chronicles: The New Interns pt. 1

Noble Impact is pleased to announce the addition of two new interns to our team. The following are brief introductions of these bright young minds. 

Alysha Hemani

“Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world.”-Nelson Mandela. Let me tell you, we are extremely fortunate to have access to this weapon and even luckier to be able to share it. This quote is half of my motivation for being a part of Noble Impact. I believe there is so much knowledge out there, that if everyone had even a tiny piece of it, and knew how to use it for the betterment of society, the world would be a problem-free place

But let me give you some background information first. My name is Alysha Hemani, and I am a senior at eStem High school in downtown Little Rock. I moved to Arkansas about 2 years ago from San Antonio, Texas, a very urban city. In my previous high school there weren’t a lot of opportunities to go out and help or be a part of something. I went to a fairly large school and was just never involved with my community. Little Rock changed that.

The day I came here I was welcomed by friendly people and countless opportunities. I jumped right in and decided that if my community can be so warm and caring, why not give back? But I wanted to find a way where I could make a big impact. I want to get to the root of the problem and solve it so it doesn’t spread into chaos.

Enter Noble Impact- I think we were meant to be. Here I am looking for a way to help on a wider scale and in come Chad and Katie asking if I want to be a part of an Institute that helps high school students pursue public service, if I wanted to help with the act of educating students about solving real-world problems and turning the youth into the bright future of tomorrow.

I am honored to help out on such an amazing opportunity. This is something I’ve only dreamed of doing, and for it to turn into reality- it’s just phenomenal. I hope I can spread the notion of public service because I truly believe it’s noble.

  Posted by lgarland on August 13, 2013

The Intern Chronicles: Expectations vs. Reality

Lindsey Garland

Let’s discuss expectations.

I am either horrible or exceptional when it comes to creating expectations, whether the former or the latter is true depends on your personal sentiment towards them.

I believe I create such elaborate expectations about things because I am a planner. I plan details, schedules, and itineraries down to the minute for almost every highly consequential event in my life. Therefore, I naturally developed very elaborate expectations for our very first Noble Impact | the Institute.

Maybe it was the culmination of everything—countless curriculum meetings, branding discussions, swag strategies, even lunch order decisions—the whole spectrum of conversations that mapped out every detail of our two weeks that bolstered my extensive expectations. But ultimately, regardless of whether my expectations were simply a product of planning or the result of some personal disposition, my expectations and what I actually saw happen during our two weeks with 32 phenomenal scholars were very, very different.

I was first confronted with this reality before workshops had even started. On Day 1 at 7:45 a.m. I picked up a student from her home, a truly exceptional girl who I ultimately became quite close with, and asked her to describe her expectations.

Lectures. Pop quizzes. Tests. Grades.

How could our scholars have developed these expectations? I answered her concern with a steadfast insistence that the Institute would be nothing like any class she had ever seen. She seemed hesitant to trust me, but what can one expect from a student whose 10+ years in school has taught her first and foremost to develop a very particular set of expectations.

As the days went on and week one blurred into week two I found myself negotiating the difference between what I thought I would see, feel, and experience, and what was actually happening.

I’ll admit, there was some stuff that really bummed me out. I did not get to sit in on as many workshops as I had hoped. I’m afraid I didn’t make personal relationships with as many scholars as I wished I could have. But there was always so much to be done. So many little logistical things to figure out, and I realized that I was more valuable to the scholars and to the Institute working behind the scenes to hammer out details and ultimately orchestrating what, on the surface, appeared to be order.

One of the moments that challenged my expectations the most occurred on the final day. The same girl who I had been picking up and taking home daily was practicing her final pitch with her group before any guests had arrived. During their dress rehearsal she was struck with complete stage fright, standing there in utter silence when she was supposed to be speaking. And something amazing happened.

Every other scholar, her peers that were also her competition, encouraged her. The scholars collectively realized that the success of the team would mean nothing if anyone was left behind. I have never been more impressed by a group of high schoolers.

Ultimately I recognize that the disconnect I observed between my expectations and the reality of the whole thing stemmed from the expectations I had unintentionally developed about our scholars. I expected some brilliant students to walk through our doors. I expected to see their knowledge of public service and entrepreneurship blossom.

What I hadn’t expected was to see our scholars internalize the value of the individual as quickly as they had. We taught them to develop and appreciate their own stories, and the importance of recognizing their own individual value. What they were demonstrating was above and beyond that lesson.

As they helped that one girl overcome her stage fright it clicked. Our scholars did not just meet my expectations, they blew them out of the water.

Until next time,

The Intern


  Posted by lgarland on August 1, 2013

Boxed In

Katie Milligan

Public high school, an AP Government teacher that made me fall in love with civic engagement, mission trips, two summers working for a nonprofit kid’s camp in south Florida, four years of college, two years of grad school, a summer holding babies in Africa…these are just some of the snapshots of my life that brought me to Noble Impact.

Going through high school and college was a frustrating process for me. High school does this incredibly unjust thing of trying to make us figure out how to fit into a boxed profession by the time we turn 18. Want to be a doctor? Great-take AP Bio. Want to be an English teacher? Great-Future Teachers of America and all the Lit classes we offer. Who knows what they want to be at 16? The thing I heard the most was “What are you going to do with a degree in Political Science? Do you want to be a politician? How are you going to get a job?” I found myself saying, “I don’t know” more times than not. “I don’t know if I want to be a politician. I don’t know what I’m going to do. I don’t know how you plan your life around wanting to help others.” I know I love people, I love learning, and I never want anyone else to feel like they were being spoon-fed a future they didn’t want.

Fast forward to the past two years at the Clinton School of Public Service. These two years have easily been the most inspiring and challenging of my entire life. My classmates helped me question everything and to push myself out of the boundaries of what I thought was possible. Together we took all of our diverse passions and made a space where we could solve problems in our communities and all over the world. No one ever tried to put me in a cookie cutter profession or define who I was supposed to become. Instead they taught me about innovation, passion, and told me it was ok to think that I was capable of doing something great.

When Chad told me we were taking the Clinton School model to high schools in Arkansas, I was sold. He could have told me I had to dress up like a giant space alien for the next year to teach about public service and I would have done it. That is how much I believe in what the Clinton School can do. That is how much I believe high school students are capable of. I am a proud member of the Noble Impact team and so excited to welcome 36 students to our inaugural class. Here’s to making your own futures, boxes or not.

  Posted by lgarland on July 3, 2013

The Intern Chronicles: A Noble Reality Check

Lindsey Garland

T-6 days.

This is crazy. What seemed like some distant vision almost a month ago is now a startling close reality. In less than one week students will walk through our doors, sit in our classrooms, and trust us to teach them. It is a bit overwhelming.

But what I’d rather spend this over-due blog post discussing is the insanity of coordinating all the details that preface the morning of July 8th. With the launch of Noble Impact’s new website Chad saw it fit to give me a concise, official title. So, I’d like to reintroduce myself as not only the intern, but the woman with the means and responsibility to handle the logistics.

I know what you’re thinking—what does that mean? It is quite possibly the most obscure and sweeping title ever. So let me clarify. In the past week I’ve ordered hundred of supplies, contacted parents and students for film interviews, invited Clinton School alums to speak during our Institute, designed some Noble Impact swag, and discussed community partnerships with a variety of Little Rock public service organizations. Yes, it’s all over the map. Yes, it has challenged even my refined organizational skills. Yes, I absolutely love the thrill of the insanity.

In a conversation with a good friend this past week I found myself going on and on about how busy I have been doing a handful of tasks that are seemingly unrelated. One’s ability to write a community partnership proposal does not exactly speak to one’s ability to design a water bottle logo. However, as the intern/logistics person, I found myself doing both. (And doing both well if I say so myself.)

But what stuck with me from this conversation with a friend whose only connection to Noble Impact is limited to the hours he’s had to hear me talk about it, is something he managed to squeeze in between my blabbering.

In a moment of subtle honesty he said, “What’s so cool about what you’re doing is that you love it. It’s amazing to see that what you thought you wanted to do is something you actually love doing. “

I hadn’t thought about it that way, but he was absolutely correct.

What this job has proven thus far is that public service has the unique ability to fulfill two voids I thought would be difficult to satisfy: the pressure and high-demand nature of deadlines and quotas (something I bizarrely enjoy), and the enduring reality that all the work we’re doing is for a noble cause.

If you would have asked me one month ago what I want to do after college I would have hesitated and stumbled to articulate a concise response. Something with law maybe. Perhaps public policy. Ultimately all in a pursuit to get involved in politics. And this hasn’t necessarily changed. I still feel some innate calling into public service as an elected official, and I hope one day I’m given the opportunity to fulfill that calling. However, what I know right now is simply that I’m lucky.

Not everyone is fortunate enough to discover they love what they do, especially at such a young age. I’m lucky enough to bask in that reality everyday I show up to work.

If you were to ask me now what I want to do after college I would concisely respond, “this.” I wouldn’t stumble. I wouldn’t hesitate.

Until next time,

The Intern

  Posted by lgarland on July 2, 2013

Impact Expectations

Jeremy Boeh

As the month of June comes to a close and July begins, I am gearing up for a few things: my favorite holiday, July 4th, some good old-fashioned military training and an incredible opportunity to collaborate with the team of Noble Impact.

When Chad proposed a collaboration between The Space, which teaches professional development to college students, and Noble Impact, I have to admit I was stoked. When he asked me to come down and teach the art of the personal pitch, I also have to admit I was a little nervous. What will these high school students expect of me? What should I expect from myself?

Then I remembered a quote I read while in Iraq:

“High expectations are the KEY to everything.” ~Sam Walton

(Yes, it’s the same Sam Walton you’re thinking of. How fitting, right? I’m coming back to Arkansas, I’m using a Sam Walton quote… But it’s all purely coincidental, I promise.)

The Point is… 

Keep your expectations of anything you do just out of reach so you are always hustling to fulfill them.

If you associate yourself with people and organizations that expect and achieve great things, you’re already positioning yourself for success. Through my association with The Space, I met Chad and now get to be involved with Noble Impact. I’m really looking forward to bringing some of the skills we teach in The Space to a group of motivated and passionate high school students.

But it doesn’t end there.  See, associating yourself with successful people and organizations is the first step. The next step is actually DOING. There are many people who have amazing ideas but if they don’t actually do what needs to be done to make them happen, well, they stay just that: ideas.

So when I board the plane next week I will have my bags, the latest Entrepreneur Magazine and two expectations:

  1. That I deliver information and insight that will both resonate with and inspire the students. Sounds pretty simple, right? But if you’ve ever taught a class or a course, you know how much preparation and sweat can go into effectively teaching even a simple lesson – especially when it’s for a new audience.
  2. That the students will take the information they’re given – and their association with Noble Impact – and use it (and I mean, really USE it) to achieve their goals and change the world through doing.

Jeremy Boeh – talk20 Spartanburg – April 13, 2013 – The Showroom @ HUB-BUB


  Posted by lgarland on July 2, 2013

Ireland–Chapter 1 of 5

Chad Williamson

I arrived in Enniskillen, Ireland on Friday night (June10th) after taking the bus from Dublin. Not having ever been to Ireland before, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect but was excited to be part of the Clinton Centre (http://www.clintoncentre.com) Summer School.

Ireland 1There were 18 students from 10 different countries that included Kenya, Spain, Palestine, Canada, Ireland, Philippines, Israel, Kosovo, South Africa, and the U.S.

It didn’t take long for me to understand that I was part of something special due to the richness in diversity. I was also in a place where diversity could divide and had divided in the past.

The Clinton Centre sits on the site of the “Remembrance Day bombing” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Remembrance_Day_bombing), which was a brutal bombing that claimed the lives of 12 people on November 8th, 1987.

Before I was to give my first workshop, we had the opportunity to hear from one of the bombing victims. His name was Stephen Gault, and he told us that it was his first time being on the property since the bombing…the place where he lost his father. It was an emotional talk and everyone in the room felt his courage as he spoke of his father dying at his feet that day in November.

After the talk, we had the opportunity to meet he and his wife, Sharon. They were open and welcoming. It reaffirmed my belief in dialogue to move things forward.

The night I got to Enniskillen, I had heard rumblings about some tension between the Israeli and Palestinian students. I’ll admit, I didn’t know the entire history behind the Middle East conflict and wanted to understand more. I also wanted to understand if this place…the Clinton Centre, was a place where students from around the world could engage in dialogue that did embrace differences and disagreements.

My role at the Clinton Centre was to deliver two different workshops directly related to the core of our Noble Impact curriculum. Therefore, storytelling, listening, and pitching were the three big themes to facilitate. To guide the curriculum, I provided some relevant President Clinton quotes…starting with this:
Ireland 2

What transpired over the next 24 hours was something special, and definitely an experience I’ll never forget. Even more encouraging, it happened as a result of our curriculum implementation.

  Posted by Lindsey on June 25, 2013

The Intern Chronicles: Crisis is Key

Last week in a meeting at the Little Rock Children’s Library I was slightly distracted by an idea, maybe even an epiphany, that put into focus why I believe the sort of work Noble Impact is doing will have more resonance than a traditional classroom environment. We are working to understand, talk through, and resolve real world challenges.

To better situate you to the sort of vocabulary that is about to ensue I should clarify that I have a history in high school debate and I currently compete in colligate Model United Nations conferences. Each has confusing jargon of its own, but the premise behind both is simple. Both debate and Model U.N. revolve around some central crisis, which is real or could easily become reality, and challenges participants to compete for the best resolution.

I have always found these two activities compelling because they place students in an environment where the solution to the proposed problem is consequential, requires critical thinking, and has the potential to change the world for the better—even if it is all hypothetical.

The high stakes nature of crisis driven thinking completely alters the experience. The pressure and pay-off is a dynamic combination that is fulfilling both intellectually and competitively. Success breeds success, and once a student has felt the validation of solving a problem they are hooked. When a competitor is adequately invested in the process what manifests is unbelievable creativity, quick but thoughtful thinking, and an indescribable feeling of accomplishment.

But Noble Impact is even better than that, because not only are the problems our students will be collaborating to solve real, but their solutions can/will actually be implemented.

I can only imagine (and secretly hope) that the experience for our students will resemble the countless debate rounds I’ve competed in. It can and will be stressful at times, and agreeing with teammates is never painless, but the payoff these students stand to gain is invaluable.

Debate in high school equipped me as a college student with better critical thinking and public speaking skills than any teacher, classroom, or textbook could have taught me. The real secret to that success was the crisis driven learning experience. Our students will gain those abilities plus one more that a hypothetical world like debate was never able to give me—real, tangible, and tested results.

Until next time,

The Intern

  Posted by Lindsey on June 18, 2013


Noble Impact


Chad Williamson
Email: chad@nobleimpact.com
Phone: 479-414-7426

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