The Student Success Partnership has begun its 9th year working with foster youth. The year began with a successful Summer Success Academy serving over 50 foster youth. In August, we co-hosted a college and career conference for about 200 foster youth, unaccompanied minors, and homeless youth from the San Bernardino County. A special thanks goes to the graduate students of Dr. Angela Clark-Taylor who provided creative, hands-on workshops at this conference.
In September, the Partnership launched its Saturday Success Academies focusing on helping the youth explore opportunities for their future. The youth toured Vocademy, a makerspace in Riverside. They learned about opportunities for using technical tools such as 3-D printing and welding. They also participated in a maker challenge which had the youth working in small teams to construct standing structures that would support a certain weight.
In October, the youth learned about the field of engineering and the history of catapults. They followed a set of written directions and used a variety of tools to build catapults. They then tested their efforts.
In November, the youth toured the Norton Air Force Museum where they had the opportunity to speak with many veterans. They also met Retired Major Brian Shul who survived being shot down over Cambodia during the Vietnam conflict. Maj. Shul, who went on to be a Blackbird pilot, was very motivational and the veteran docents were outstanding.
December’s academy will include a community service project where the youth write and draw inspirational messages on the lunch bags that they will then fill for Joseph’s Storehouse located in Redlands. The youth will also repurpose the lumber from the October catapults into benches for the University of Redlands Community Garden.
Spring academies will bring include a variety of academic enrichment activities and the continuation of the weekly tutoring.