The Hazlo (“Make It / Do It”) Program at Cruces Creatives connects K-12 students in Doña Ana County with mentors, funding, and makerspace tools to complete projects that students propose.
Students gain multiple benefits by working on a self-selected project with mentor support. By pursuing a project that they’ve chosen and that interests them, students are more motivated to master the life and academic skills that go along with their project (Ames, 1992; Ryan & Deci, 2000; Vansteenkiste et al., 2004). With one-on-one guidance from trained mentors, students also get all the benefits of individually tailored instruction, and they have the chance to build positive relationships with supportive, capable adults who can serve as role models.
To help keep students and mentors safe, projects are done only at public, supervised sites—typically, at the student’s school or at Cruces Creatives—and all mentors are required to pass a background check (paid for by the Hazlo Program).
Ames, C. (1992). Classrooms: Goals, Structures, and Student Motivation. Journal of Educational Psychology, 84(3), 261-271.
Ryan, R. M., & Deci, C. L. (2000). Self-Determination Theory and the Facilitation of Intrinsic Motivation, Social Development, and Well-Being. American Psychologist, 55(1), 68-78.
Vansteenkiste, M., Simons, J., Lens, W., Sheldon, K. M., & Deci, E. L. (2004). Motivating Learning, Performance, and Persistence: The Synergistic Effects of Intrinsic Goal Contents and Autonomy-Supportive Contexts. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 87(2), 246-260.