Amber Gascoigne (left) and Lisa Tabarez.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY BRUCE FEAGLE
Twenty-five years ago, stockbroker and corporate CEO Randy Barth launched the nonprofit organization Think Together to partner with public schools in Orange County to expand learning opportunities for children. In 2020, its programs — which include STEM-focused academics as well as physical fitness and art — expanded into the Coachella Valley.
“Our programs allow students to be creative and tap into critical-thinking skills that prepare them for college and beyond,” says Lisa Tabarez, Think Together’s general manager for the Coachella Valley. In her role, Tabarez cultivates partnerships with school districts, staff, and the community to create innovative, engaging programs before and after school. “Think Together and Palm Springs Unified partnered to develop a curriculum to prepare students for college and careers.”
Working with Think Together gives PSUSD students additional hours on campus in a safe space with supervision, says Amber Gascoigne, the district’s director of expanded learning.
“We want our kids to excel with whatever they choose whether it’s college or career,” Gascoigne says. “We want them to have that success story from the get-go.”
Think Together creates activities for students to demonstrate what they learn in the afterschool programs, from gallery walks to showcases of culinary arts and sports.
Tabarez says Think Together hopes to expand to the Coachella Valley’s two other school districts in the future.