On June 20 Ki-Be GEAR UP took 8 students to the Columbia Basin College (CBC) Summer Camp. The students arrived at 8:45 am and were greeted at Hawk Central where they received a water bottle and picked out a colored sheet of paper that would assign them to a camp leader based on the color of the paper they chose.
Once the students were paired up with their camp leader they were guided to a classroom, which would be their assigned classroom for the rest of the camp. Once the students arrived at the classroom they were handed a folder that had the required material for the rest of the camp. The students were required to work on the folder as the camp progressed. At the end of each day the students were required to turn in their folder.
The camp was filled with workshops and exercises to help the students understand what college is all about, help the students better manage their time and gain or improve their life skills. There was a workshop on the importance of sleep and how much sleep students require. Another workshop had an activity to help the students determine how it is that they learn best. The camp was also filled with activities to keep the students active and learn ways to communicate what they need, when to ask for help and how it is to work in a team.
One part of the camp focused on career exploration. The students went to the computer lab, filled out a survey to identify their interests and were given suggestions of possible career options. Here the students had a look at how much schooling is required, the job outlook and the responsibilities of the career. The webpage also allowed the students to take a look at their career options that only require a certification, 2 year degree, 4 year degree, Master’s degree or Ph. D. This exercise helped students who were still not sure what they wanted to major in or what type of institution to attend. Overall, it showed students the options and opportunities they have available to them.
One part of the camp guided the students trough process of signing up for classes. First the students went over some college lingo. For example, they learned the difference between a major and a minor, what credits are and what core requirements are. The camp leader explained to the students that community colleges and universities have required course the student have to take and pass. Next the students were guided through the process of choosing their courses. The students learned that they have to meet with their counselor in college to make sure they are taking the courses required for their major and to determine if they are on track to receive their degree.
On the last day of the camp the students worked on a final project and were given the opportunity to attend the Planetarium. Students created a board describing what they learned about college and themselves during their attendance of the CBC summer camp. During the creation of the board the students were allowed to use words, pictures, and drawings to express what they learned. Once the students finished the board, they would had the opportunity to showcase it to their parents during the evening. Towards the end of the camp the students were given the opportunity to witness how amazing the Planetarium is. The students went into the planetarium and were given a presentation on how the planetarium works. The student were also informed that the planetarium also shows movies.
Overall this camp was great for the students to learn more about what to expect when attending college. They learned about the process to get into a college and about what they need to work on as students including their own strengths and weaknesses.
On July 10th, Prosser High School GEAR UP staff took 15 students to Gonzaga University to participate in Washington Business Week. Here the students were kept busy for a whole week, as they learned more about how healthcare and businesses work. Their day would usually start at 6:00 am and end till about 9:00 pm. Students were in workshops for an hour to three hours learning the fundamentals of how a clinic or business office works. The majority of the students we took attended Healthcare rather than business, however we had one student, Kennia Martinez, who attended the Business workshops.
The students who were in the Healthcare week, were divided into different clinics, which required them to work in small groups. In their small groups, each student was given a role to fulfill within their clinic. Each student was responsible for their assigned role, and ensure that their role in the clinic was met. If one student didn’t fulfill their role, it affected the whole clinic. Some of the roles assigned were Finance, Budgeting, CEO, Operator Manager, Marketing, Human resources, and Safety Officers. The students performed their roles, and learned how each role contributes to the clinic. Healthcare professionals assisted the group with their assignment.
“Washington Medical Workers,” was the name of one of the clinics that consisted of 3 Prosser students, Brenda Ixta, Froy Contreras, and Edith Raya. Their project was that they had found the cure for cancer, and they had to figure out how to budget. They had to figure out the cost, the demand for this product, and what kind of profit would they make. This clinic received 3 certificates, Best Memo Score, First Place Overall, and Best Board of Directors Presentation.
“Everyone there was really nice and helpful. This was an awesome experience for me,” Edith Raya exclaimed.
We were very fortune to have taken 15 students to this event! At first, the students were a little homesick, but by the time we had to leave, most of them wanted to stay. Prosser had another individual who was well recognized at the camp, Enrique Acevedo. He was always interacting with everyone at the camp, which is why he was asked to introduce the guest speakers for the ceremony! He also had a small part in the closing speech. He was very flattered to have been part of the ceremony. We also had three students participate in the Talent show. Pablo Vera, Cristyan Zepeda, and Enrique Acevedo performed a magic trick for everyone at the camp. We have a few students who asked to be a representative of Washington Business Week in Prosser! Overall the students had a great time and made new connections with other students their age.
And they’re off! Walla Walla High School GEAR UP sent 43 students and 6 parents to Universities and Colleges across Washington, Oregon, and Idaho this spring and summer. Students participated in engaging campus tours and interactive career planning at banks, Boeing and investment agencies. Students and the parents were inviting to participate in one of 3 trips funded by GEAR UP dollars with the goal of getting students and their parents on campus at regional colleges that fit their interest. Students got a full picture of campus life from school representatives that were able to give robust tours of departments and highlight what their campuses had to offer. One group got a bonus opportunity of attending a tour of Boeing, this is a much sought after ‘ticket’ and not very many people get to see the inside of this factory so it was a big treat for those students.
Students left each trip with a better understand of what they need to be doing now, in high school, to ensure success in college or in a career based learning environment. These trips didn’t come without homework, students had pre-work that they had to complete in order to attend and evening group work while on the trip. Students worked in groups to reflect on what they had seen each day and collaborated with each other on what they can do now to ensure a smooth transition after high school.
On Wednesday May 11, 2016 Kiona Benton City High School GEAR UP hosted a scholarship workshop after school and one on Tuesday, May 24, 2016 during lunch. The scholarship workshop was hosted in the KiBe High School computer lab. The primary website used by the students was Unigo.com. This website has some scholarships that require students to write responses to prompts that are 250 words or less. During the May 11th workshop 4 students attended. As a reward, each of the students received a Dutch Bro’s gift card. During the May 24th workshop a total of 10 students attended the workshop. The increase in attendance was in part due to the GEAR UP ambassadors bringing a friend with them. As an incentive to the students completing scholarships, each scholarship they completed would get them an entry into a drawing for a Dutch Bro’s gift card.
The scholarship workshops were a great success! Each of the students in the workshop was able to get a least one scholarship done. Some students got up to 4 or 5 scholarships done! Due to this workshop being successful, KiBe GEAR UP plans on hosting a scholarship workshop every Wednesday after school in the upcoming school year to build consistency and place an emphasis on the importance of applying for scholarships.
On Thursday, May 12, 2016 Kiona Benton City High School GEAR UP took 4 sophomores and 2 juniors to Perry Technical Institute. This trip came forth due to the realization that there are students interested in career opportunities offered by Perry Technical Institute. During this campus visit, GEAR UP decided to use the district van due to it being more cost efficient and allowing a more career-focused visit for a small group of students.
The KiBe group arrived at Perry Tech at around 9am and were greeted by Kayla, the tour guide. Upon arrival Kayla asked each of the students what programs they were interested in so that she could take the students to each of the departments. The students mentioned they were interested in the Electrical Technology, Welding Technology, Construction, Instrumentation Technology, Automotive Technology and Agricultural Equipment Technician programs. Kayla provided each of them with pamphlets of their program of interest. Before heading out to visit the location of the programs, everyone was given safety goggles.
First, Kayla took the group to visit the Electrical Technology program, which is a 2-year program. The instructor of the Electrical program took over the tour and explained what to expect from the program. The instructor took the group into a classroom where a couple of students in the Electrical program were taking an exam. While in the classroom, the instructor explained how the students will get more hands on work as they move further in the program. The instructor talked about the methods used to help the students learn and how important it is to be able to work as a team. After showing us the classroom the instructor took the group over to the lab area. While at the lab area the group experienced what hands-on learning experience looks like.
After attending the Electrical program, Kayla took the group to the Welding department. The students were allowed to look around at the work area and speak to the instructor. The instructor informed the group that the Welding program is a 1-year program. Towards the end of the program the students are required to go out and practice their welding skills at their desired location. The instructor also pointed out that there is a high demand for female welders at the moment.
The group moved on to the Automotive Technology department which is also a 1-year program. While we were there we had the opportunity to take a look around their shop. Kayla explained that the students in this program spend about 2 hours in the classroom and the rest outside working in the shop. This program is set up so the students only work on cars made in the year 2000 and after. The students in this program also have the privilege of getting a 50% discount on Snap-on tools. This allows the students to have their own tools once they are done with the program. Kayla also explained how the students have to wear an all-black uniform while in class because that is the type of attire the students would wear during their career.
The group made a quick stop next to a tractor to briefly discuss the Agricultural Equipment Technician program. This program is new and will have their first students this fall. Kayla explained that the reason for having this program is because they had employers asking for workers who knew how to operate the new tractors and machinery being used in the agricultural field.
Next, the group headed to Perry Tech’s newest building which houses the Instrumentation & Industrial Automation Technology program and were given a quick tour of the building. During the tour Kayla showed us the station where students swipe their card to clock in and out of their class just like a job, and each department has one. If the student does not clock in the instructor will call and check in on why the student did not show up. Students who complete this program learn the entry level skills to control the automated process used to manufacture products. This is a 2-year program that requires students to learn applied mathematics, calculus and physics. The students learn the math, then have the opportunity to apply it during their labs.
Kayla escorted the group back to the main office and provided the students with more information about each program. The students enjoyed the visit and had a better idea of the environment Perry Tech provides. The juniors who attended the trip received the information they were looking for as well as completing the campus tour that is required in order to apply for Perry Tech.
The trip concluded with lunch at Panda Express before heading back to KiBe High School. Using the district van for a career-focused trip proved to be very beneficial to the students. The GEAR UP staff at KiBe plan on using the District van and having bi-monthly campus visits in the coming school year.