AA+RA worked with students and staff of Chicago’s Marine Leadership Academy to develop an Urban Ecology Sanctuary. The mission was to create a prototypical “environment as a tool” for healing, community building and experiential educational programming. After a tragic death of a MLA freshman in March of 2018, we decided to initiate a pilot student focus groups consisting of 60 students and four teachers. The purpose of these pilot student focus groups were to test the student focus group process, solicit ideas and to give students empowerment through ideas that would affect future students well-being.