If you build it, they will come. That’s what Honolulu, Hawaii teens Jessica Kim, Isabel Wong, Tiffany Chang, and Liezl Agustin were counting on when they started The Canvas, an awesome workspace for students to study together earlier this year. Their goal with the space was not only to give teens a place to hang out together, but to make it “cool” to learn new things with your peers.
“We realized that education has that push from teachers and parents, but we wanted to create a pull from your friends; as in, when they want to do something, you want to do something, so that you’re motivated to pursue academics and participate in activities,” said Tiffany, a 17-year-old who is a co-founder of The Canvas. “Hearing it from friends presents a new point of view, versus hearing from teacher or parent. It creates a cool culture.”
Looking at the space, it seems like a dream come true for any high-schooler. There is free wi-fi, comfy workstations, snacks, and exciting workshops in a bright, modern setting that boasts cool wallpaper, fun-patterned rugs, and floating bookshelves stocked with donated books. It isn’t all about academics, either, because they have the entire Harry Potter series to read at your leisure. (P.S. Hermione Granger would love this place.)
Even though homework is important, study buddies aren’t the only goal of The Canvas. There are inspirational quotes hanging on index cards like “hustle until you no longer have to introduce yourself” and a big map for students to pin where they’d like to go and what they’d do there. For some, it’s about seeing volcanoes, while others want to travel to places like Seattle.
This workspace is something that people of all ages could use, but it’s so cool that teens created it. This goes to show that if you have an cool idea, share it! You never know how many of your peers are looking for the same thing, and if you’re anything like the four young women who started The Canvas, you could be taking lessons in photography and space management soon. Yep, those are just two of the awesome classes and tutoring sessions available there.
Raise your hand if you want to move to Hawaii with me — and this time it’s not just for the weather — and check out a tour of The Canvas below.