About the authors

Kathleen Cushman collaborates with diverse youth around the U.S. and abroad on projects for What Kids Can Do, Inc. (WKCD), bringing their voices to bear on the complex challenges that affect their lives and learning.

A journalist and documentarian, she co-founded WKCD with Barbara Cervone in 2001. Her work there has led to many books written with youth, including the best-selling Fires in the Bathroom: Advice for Teachers from High School Students, and its sequel, Fires in the Middle School Bathroom, co-authored with Laura Rogers, Ed.D.

As a speaker and presenter, she works with educational institutions to connect the direct input of youth with promising practices in secondary schools and colleges. As a writer and publishing consultant, she produces print and mixed-media materials relating to adolescent learning.

The student contributors come from 17 schools and youth-serving organizations in nine cities or towns around the United States. Through What Kids Can Do’s far-reaching network of students and teachers, we invited the following very diverse youth to join us for sustained conversations:

• Chicago: Eleventh graders at the Academy of Communications and Technology Charter School, students at Westside Alternative High School, and a ninth grade reading and writing class at Prosser Career Academy High School.
• Long Beach, CA: Members of Woodrow Wilson High School’s Male Academy for young men of color.
• Rural Maine: Students from Poland Regional High School who integrated our inquiry into their senior projects.
• New York City: Students from Young Women’s Leadership School of East Harlem, the Queens High School of Teaching, the Isaac Newton Middle School for Math and Science, the Clinton School for Artists and Writers, East Side Community School, and Citizen Schools.
• Providence, RI: Members of the youth string quartet at Community MusicWorks, a neighborhood organization.
• San Antonio, TX: Students from the internship program at the International School of the Americas.
• San Diego, Oakland, and Mill Valley, CA: Students from (respectively) High Tech High, Youth Radio, and the Conservatory Theatre Ensemble at Tamalpais High School.

Meet the students! (PDF) StudentContributors_FiresInTheMind