The learning curve - student writings, your writings!


  • Who We Are
    PUSD’s Think Tank is a student-led initiative whose mission is to create a safe space for students to connect across campuses, raise consciousness about Pasadena’s history, and to provide a platform through which students can create equity within the district and the region. Our publication, The Learning Curve (TLC) is a collection of student narratives whose purpose is to shed light on student voices. We believe every PUSD student has a story that deserves to be heard — and there are so many more who have been left out. We encourage you to speak up and share your story.

    The Learning Curve (TLC): Volume 3

    We launched TLC's first volume in 2021, which featured over 70 submissions. During our second year, we collected 170 stories and in spring 2023, we are working on our third volume and expanding to middle schools! (Scroll down to read the history of how the publication came to be.) 

    What else is new? This year, the Think Tank editorial team is collecting the emails of students who submit their stories so that writers can approve any potential edits we make to their story (only the Think Tank team will see first drafts). This way, you will have complete control over how your story is presented in the anthology! We will also be collecting pronouns so that we can correctly address the students who submit stories. 

    Lastly, as TLC has become an essential and impactful resource for teachers and staff in PUSD, the Think Tank is expanding our outreach! We are working toward publishing The Learning Curve: Volume Three so that the work can be accessible to Pasadena, California, as well as national audiences! We also plan to feature the stories via our social media accounts. This is a move to get more people interested in student narratives and perspectives as well as in the work that the Think Tank is doing. We also plan to feature the stories from the anthology via our social media accounts. This is a move to invite larger audiences to engage in student narratives and perspectives, the work of the Think Tank, as well as to connect with PUSD's student body. When submitting your story, you have complete control over which of these media forms you would like your narrative to be featured in!

    This work must continue, and students must be at the center of the conversation surrounding our own education. We look forward to publishing your story and sharing your concerns with PUSD’s teachers, administrators, as well as with the larger community.

    Thank you for learning about volume three of TLC! Please consider being part of the move to put students at the center of our own education by submitting a story!

    Thank you, Editors




Download Anthology

The Learning Curve - 2020-2021

  • How TLC came to be

    During spring 2021, our first year of existence, the Think Tank's facilitator/writer Sehba Sarwar invited students to submit their personal stories of success or challenges experienced in the district and beyond, since personal narratives are more impactful than graphs and statistics. 

    While working on their schoolwork and their committee research, Ella Uriu, Mya Hernandez, and Tamarie Johnson took the lead of not only submitting their own stories, but taking on the task of collecting and organizing stories from their campuses. Flyers were sent out, emails were drafted, Instagram Stories were posted, and teachers were recruited in an effort to reach students (special thanks Dr. Rustin, Mr. Resendiz, Ms. Moore, and Ms. Dao at Muir, and Ms. Garcia and Mr. Dakan at Blair). By Spring 2021, over 60 stories were collected and published in the anthology that has since been shared with PUSD leadership and with teachers at different campuses.

    The editorial team as well as the rest of the Think Tank realized that students have a strong desire to share their personal experiences and hardships. The Think Tank will continue to collect and publish work each year so stories are representative of the student population and the issues that they face each year. 

    By creating annual editions of the anthology, staff and community members can better understand the struggles that students undergo, and the district can begin to create an environment that better serves all students. For the second volume, we decided to lightly edit the stories instead of keeping them in their raw form as we had done with the previous edition. A group of Think Tank students took on the additional challenge of editing each of the 128 pages currently featured in the anthology. While TLC Volume Two’s stories have been slightly altered, the messages that they send stays constant: students want to and need to be heard. Our stories of lived experiences must be told and this critical work must continue. 


    2022-23 editors and graphic design artists: 

    Asha Bailey '24, Stephanie Barcenas '23, Finney Brownstein '23, Adara Dowell '23, Brianna Flores '23, Aster Silverio '23, Mya Hernandez '23, Morgan Gaskell '24, Jesus Gonzalez '23, Arlington Pacheco '24, Mallika Sheshadri '25, 


    2021-22 editors and graphic design artists: 

    Ella Uriu '22, Mya Hernandez '23, Morgan Gaskell '24, Jesus Gonzalez '23, Stephanie Barcenas '22, Sophia Chou '25

    2020-21 Editors and graphic design artists:
    Ella Uriu '22, Mya Hernandez '23, Tamairie Johnson '21


    Advisor: Sehba Sarwar (2021-24)