Chords for Progression (UC Berkeley)


“There is geometry in the humming of the strings, there is music in the spacing of the spheres.” Pythagoras appreciated these hidden potentials. Thinking in mathematical and musical concepts opens up a new understanding of the world. For adolescent Students with Limited or Interrupted Formal Education (SLIFE) coming from countries where poverty, disaster, civil unrest, persecution, or gender restrictions have affected their development of literacy and opportunities for education, the need to access this understanding is especially critical. This Big Idea is an after-school program for Oakland high school refugee/asylum-seeking immigrants that fuses math with musicianship to facilitate language learning. Music increases both the surface area and volume of the brain and promotes emotional healing; basic math is essential to academics and daily living; English is necessary for schooling. This project offers an accelerated learning capability—let’s unlock their hidden potentials and see them thrive in their new home.

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Blum Center for Developing Economies
The University of California, Berkeley
Blum Hall, #5570
Berkeley, CA 94720-5570
(510) 643-5316 •
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Host and Fellow Responsibilities

Host Organizations

  • Identify staff supervisor to manage I&E Climate Action Fellow
  • Submit fellowship description and tasks
  • Engage in the matching process
  • Mentor and advise students
  • Communicate with Berkeley program director and give feedback on the program.

Berkeley Program Director​

  • Communicate with host organizations, students, and other university departments to ensure smooth program operations

Student Fellows

  • Complete application and cohort activities
  • Communicate with staff and host organizations
  • Successfully complete assignments from host organization during summer practicum
  • Summarize and report summer experience activities post-fellowship