How can you make your school a more equitable place to learn? Student teams participating in Challenge 5280 attempt to answer this question by proposing policy solutions to solve social justice issues impacting themselves and their peers in their school community.

Challenge 5280 is a bi-annual showcase in which SBOE, YAALL, and DPS student leadership teams are invited to showcase the student-led policy solutions and campaigns they are leading in their schools.

To qualify for Challenge 5280 teams must:

Identify a social justice issue in your school

Conduct thorough research to better understand the issue

Propose a policy solution that addresses the root cause

Develop a call-to-action to involve your community

The most essential criteria? The proposed policy solution must be student-led.

Program Evolution

Challenge 5280 has grown and evolved since it launched in 2014. Since then, every year SVL explores strategies on how to improve the design of Challenge 5280 based on student, coach and community feedback and recommendations. In recent years we have heard the call for more student-led interaction and design and in 2020 we started that transition to a conference-style, 100% youth-led summit led by the Student Voice and Leadership Executive Team. This year students have taken transformation to the next level by voting to eliminate the competition portion of the event to center their collective voice and energy on COLLABORATION.

Challenge 5280 Virtual

During the COVID-19 pandemic, SVL worked with the DPS school district to create safe supports and learning environments. For our 2020/2021 program, 30 SVL teams and youth-led partner organizations came together virtually. Workshop breakouts were designed for youth to engage in critical thought partnership and leadership with each other. The format was a full-day virtual summit that centered youth-led policy and civic leadership.

Get Involved with Challenge 5280

Contact us to enroll your school’s team in the Challenge 5280 program




The Student Board of Education is a district civic engagement leadership program that cultivates research and advocacy skills for sustainable youth-led policy solutions to social justice issues impacting their schools


Young African American & Latinx Leaders address systemic issues in DPS that perpetuate the school-to-prison-pipeline through action, policy reform, and development as Education Justice leaders

Challenge 5280

Challenge 5280 is a bi-annual showcase led by SVL participants, where student leaders present policy solutions, facilitate educational workshops and generate a call to action for adult partners