My name is Jacob Wishnoff and in my ten months with Public Allies I was placed at a college bound program, Legal Outreach. My time at Legal Outreach has taught me a lot about how we learn, how we are influenced by information, and how we influence information and the world around us. I come from the standard education system, and I was raised on the standard norms of mainstream American culture. I have realized how these structures of rearing create divisions, inconsistencies in the learning cycle, and antiquated concepts of self and society. To truly know my path to fostering my vision for the future, I must first understand its anti-thesis. The work we do in its many forms and missions to carry out a better vision for the future of society is essential. In many respects it’s formless, constantly shifting and adjusting to the perpetually changing nature of life. Thus one methodology, or one thought process, even the slight hubris of declaring one’s opinions unsalable stands to stifle our collective process. What I have learned from working in youth development is a simple idea: the acquisition of knowledge without context is much the same as collecting wealth without restraint or purpose. It is not enough to simply teach a student a body of information, but rather to teach them to engage with every subject, every situation, and every power dynamic, and to accept nothing as given. The learning process never ceases; information both learned and unlearned dynamically changes with the passage of time. In this same respect, I believe we can bring this ability, willingness, and desire to continuously learn to every aspect of our work. It’s also essential to engage those who have ceased to continuously learn and form static ideas. Many say idle hands are the devils playthings, then I must assert that an idle mind amounts to the devil itself. We must engage both in ourselves, amongst our communities, and amongst those who have “checked-out” to foster the reengagement of minds outside of restrictive standardized learning.