Building a Movement: CitySquash’s Growth Mindset Youtube Challenge

Our Network prides itself on the vast set of skills and talents that members hold; it’s what makes this group of organizations unique. This year, SSN has created a space for members to further develop and share their expertise: Skill-Building Sessions! These sessions are carefully crafted, with goals and objectives that cater to the needs of network members. Topics range from organizational management tactics to student-level interventions, are geared towards helping members reach their most important goals, and are responsive to network member requests.

Our first member-led session was held in December. CitySquash Director of Middle School Academics, Colin Murfree, and Director of Elementary School Academics Micah Finkelman, shared their Growth Mindset YouTube Challenge with the network.  

CitySquash: Growth Mindset Youtube Challenge

The Research Alliance for NYC Schools used 2017-18 Student Success Network Survey data to identify CitySquash’s Bronx middle school program as one of 18 Bright Spot Sites — member sites that had a stronger positive effect on youth SEL compared to other sites serving similar youth. In an interview with SSN, CitySquash hypothesized that their Growth Mindset YouTube Challenge contributed to their participants’ improved growth mindset. Colin and Micah shared their practice at our Network’s 2018 Data Lab and received high praise from members, who sought more information on the topic. On December 5th, members from organizations all over the city came together to learn from the two CitySquash leaders and create a plan to adapt and implement with their own spin. Emphasizing the importance of explicit SEL instruction that accompanied the YouTube Challenge, Micah and Colin shared the tools they used to run lessons, activities they did to convey the importance of growth mindset, and the successes and challenges they faced during the implementation process. Through instructional videos and brainteasers, the group gained a better understanding of how the promising practice could be adapted to their own work environment: 90% of participants stated that they were “very likely” to implement in their own organization.

This session was the first of many that will give members a chance to share and learn with each other to increase the impact they have on youth in their program. Thanks to Colin and Micah for leading the charge!

Explore Growth Mindset YouTube Challenge resources and MORE here!

Don’t see what you want or need in the Resource Library? Want to share your own expertise with the network? Fill out this form to let us know. If you’d like to learn more about the Skill-Building Sessions, reach out to Stefano Barros, Program Manager of Knowledge Sharing & Improvement at

Stefano Barros

Stefano believes that one of the best ways to develop young leaders is through community building in youth-centered spaces. This is the driving force behind his focus on strengthening SSN’s reservoir of resources through collaborative learning and research. Stefano joined the team after holding college access and youth leadership development roles in Boston and New York City.

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