Due to the whole Covid-19 Pandemic, this summer has been very challenging, especially for kids that were planning to work for the Summer Youth Employment. More than 2,000 applicants had their applications revoked. Thank God that on July 12, 2020, it was announced that the Summer Youth Employment would be taking all the revoked applications and will conduct remote-working through the “SYEP Summer Bridge 2020”.
This five-week program is called the “CareerCLUE Program” and will be conducted by the Salvadori Center. This opportunity teaches kids career exploration, skill- building activities, connections to professionals, community building, and best of all, we earn money. Unfortunately, the hours and pay is less than originally planned, but something is better than nothing.
The Salvadori Center is a non-profit organization, STEM Based program that teaches project-based learning experiences in the curriculums of mathematics, science, art, language, social studies, and technology in a built environment. In other words, the urban landscaping of buildings, bridges, tunnels, skyscrapers, etc.
My session is for two hours from 3:30 to 5:30. We have been working on a project on how to make landmarks, memorials, and monuments. We work in 6 different groups. Throughout the week we discuss how they are being removed due to the current events involving discrimination, racism, and emotional discrepancies. So we are discussing ideas on how to replace these images. On Fridays, we have presentations that are hosted by people from different companies that are in the architecture field.
Below I interviewed 3 students in my career group, just to get their perspectives of their quarantine job experience. I asked them all the same questions:
How is your work experience? What are your likes? What are your dislikes?
“My experience so far with the SYEP program I am enrolled in has been a rollercoaster. I’m glad I joined it because it’s really interesting and it’s helping me to pay for college. I’m learning new things from the participants and from the teacher as well. At first it was kind of hard to understand how the program works and it came very quickly with little to no notice. also the requirements, expectations that we were given were confusing at first. Not many people had the answers to things but I couldn’t be upset we are in the middle of a pandemic trying to get 50 kids online jobs and insure that they are doing all the right things. In this program we have a side part that is called Hats and Ladders. It teaches us life skills and understanding what we want and like that can lead to a successful future. It’s very helpful but kind of boring because its the summer and I really don’t prefer online work I’m more of a hands on person. Regardless I’m grateful for this program because I need it for college and it’s keeping mentally active right in time for my first year of college.”
Errin Mickels (Class of 2020)
“During this summer bridge program I have had the opportunity to once again work with people from the Salvadori center. I have enjoyed working with them in the past for the same reasons I enjoy working with them now. They are very interactive as they always ask questions to make sure that everyone is involved. They are also very inclusive with their work as they try to incorporate our interest and they often have assignments that are very relevant for the time. They also assign us hands on projects which is my personal favorite because it prevents things from getting too dull since we have assignments for drawing and having us come up with our own idea for certain topics such as the preservation of a landmark, monument, or memorial of our choice. We also have an upcoming project where we have to create a model or recycled materials and I am looking forward to completing this project.
There are only two things that I don’t particularly like but I can not really blame Salvadori. The main thing I dislike about this program is that it is all online and I would much rather be working in person however we would be working in person had it not been for the pandemic. The only other thing I do not like is that we are in groups that we are not allowed to choose and that bothers me because I don’t always get along with people well so things could have been really bad assuming I was put in a group with people I knew I didn’t get along with.”
Joel Hernandez (Class of 2021)
“I am two weeks into the SYEP Summer Bridge Program and so far it has been good. I really like this program because it gives me something to do during the summer and not just wasting my time. One thing that I like about the summer bridge program is the work we do. This Program makes us do different interesting assignments. For example, one assignment we had was to research an LMM(Landmark, Monument, Memorial) that has been taken down. Then we had to redesign the LLM we chose. I thought this was pretty interesting because I got to learn about new monuments and landmarks, then we got to use our creativity to redesign it. Another thing that I like about the summer Bridge Program is that we do Group projects/classwork. One group project that we did was interviewing a partner. We had to ask questions such as what was their favorite color and favorite tv shows. After that, we had to design a symbol that represented our partner based on the answers. I found this assignment interesting and fun. Another interesting thing about the Program is that on Fridays we have People from their Companies present to us about what they do. I think this is pretty cool because I learn new things. One dislike that I have is that it starts at 3:30 pm. I really don’t mind but would have been nice if it was earlier. Overall I find the Summer Bridge Program interesting and fun. It is a good program to help me pass the time at home.”
Enrique Martinez (Class of 2021)
Below is the interview with Andrew, one of the Salvadori Mentors held by Mr. Koester, Sophomore English Teacher
What is your title in the program?
“My title is Salvadori Educator; my company (Salvadori Center) is partnering with the Summer Bridge program to provide lessons and instruction for students. I am working with two classes of WHSAD students, either directly teaching or supporting them during group and independent work.”
Please provide a brief overview of the program.
“I can talk about the Salvadori Center portion of the program that I am involved with. Salvadori sends educators to schools and community centers to teach hands-on lessons about the built environment. For the Summer Bridge program, we are teaching a curriculum called Landmarks, Monuments, and Memorials. It’s adapted from one of our pre-existing curricula, modified for older students and remote learning.”
“During their Salvadori class time, students learn about the design concepts that engineers and architects consider when developing public monuments, such as layout, scale, and visual symbolism. The class ends with a final project where groups design a park site based around a specific theme, featuring one monument designed by each group member. Each student will use recycled materials to build a physical 3-D model of their monument.”
“At the end of each week, students also hear presentations from STEAM industry professionals and ask them questions about their college and career path.”
What have been some stand out moments during the program?
“When discussing the emotions that monuments and memorials evoke, we connected it to recent controversies around monuments being torn down or requested to be torn down because of who and what they represent. Students had a particularly strong response to the example of Christopher Columbus, which led to a class discussion about how the representation of Columbus in the media and school has changed over time.”
How have the students grown because of the program?
“Throughout the program, students build important skills like collaboration and independent research, and get to see a wide range of monuments around the world and hear from a variety of industry professionals about their work. I’ve really enjoyed seeing the diversity of ideas expressed in student work; students often found and shared about specific monuments and memorials that I, and probably others in the class, was unaware of. Students also ask great detailed questions during the presentations from industry professionals, and I think hearing the answers to those benefits everyone in the class who might have similar career interests.”