Lissette Rojas is the CEO and Co-Founder, along with brother Alejandro Rojas, of Trix & Trax – a platform that discovers and develops talent through live events, social media, and the Superhero Program, helping children to develop passion, confidence and life skills. This interview was given at the HundrED Summit in Helsinki 2017, where Trix & Trax was announced as one of this year's 100 Global Education Innovations.
How can encouraging individual passions enhance a child’s life?
We truly believe that enhancing passion and encouraging kids to follow their passion is the key to success. First, you have to discover what your passion is, once you discover your passion everything is going to come very easily because you will have the passion and the grit to get it. In the end, you won’t see it as work because it’s part of what you are, you will follow it and you will succeed.
So this is why we are trying to help people discover at a young age what moves you, what makes you dance, what makes you jump out of bed and then do it! Just do it and you will succeed.
How does passion-based learning in Trix & Trax benefit students?
We have seen first hand the transformation of kids, once you recognize them and their value, whatever it is. For example, there’s a boy who presented for the first time in one of our events – he danced. I remember at that time we had Trix, which was anyone who could do a trick or sports and Trax was for producing music, but we didn’t have the dance zone. But he came and said look I dance, that’s my talent, so we opened the dance zone and after that, we invited him to join us in our 'Superhero' Program. At the end of our program, we search for talent, they join us as a Superhero and they have the responsibility to keep developing new talent and also to motivate and inspire others when we go to another event.
So each event for them is a milestone, they get prepared and it’s so exciting for them and they have a purpose, they have to show their development. For example, nowadays this boy is a professional dancer and choreographer and he’s living off his talent – he even teaches in a dance studio. When we talk with him, he says the first time when you came to my school was the first time I danced and being a superhero helped me to overcome the stigmas around dancing, because his friends were telling him he shouldn’t dance, that’s for girls, but he said because I was a superhero it was so cool and everyone was admiring me, so this allowed me to keep developing my talent, to get confidence and also allowed me to learn how to teach others. Now he teaches in a studio and follows his passion.
Not only do we have artists, but also we encourage entrepreneurs, they learn all these different skills, like we say it’s life skills learning, so if you’re going to be a performer or artist, but also it gives you the tools to start your own business. We have the entrepreneurs, professional dancers, freestylers and we’re very proud of them. The best thing is we learn from them. That’s the thing, education should be not one way, but two ways. We encourage them to be creative and express themselves, we’re just there to guide them, give little tips to make them better.
What is the biggest challenge in education right now?
I think education needs to be for everyone and nowadays education is leaving people behind and I think that has to be solved. That’s part of the things we’re bringing together, to let everybody know that they matter – that’s part of our mission. No matter your specialty, we believe everyone has a talent and we’re just there to let them discover it, show it, pursue it, work it and develop it and get what they want from life. At the end of the day, we just want to provide them with the tools to achieve their own goals.
The next 100 years of education should…
... be student-centered, where they are able to have all the tools to succeed in life and they have their own individual purpose to help in the collective purpose, for a better world.
To learn more about Trix & Trax, including how to bring this approach to your school, visit the innovation page.