Written by Catherine Walker
While we are all be suffering from screen-fatigue, the foster youth served by the Student Success Partnership stepped up their game by participating in an on-line version of our Give Back Academy.
The purpose of the Give Back Academy is to show empathy to others who are less fortunate than us. We talk about “wants” vs. “needs” and brainstorm ways to help others. The end-product of this Academy is bagged lunches for the homeless population in downtown San Bernardino.
In past years, we met on campus, took over Gregory Hall, spread out our art supplies, and organized our food items. As a group, we decorated our lunch bags with inspirational sayings and motivational artwork, and then filled those bags to create lunches for the homeless population in downtown San Bernardino.
In these times of COVID-19, we know that homelessness is on the rise; it was important that we did not fore-go this Academy. The non-profit, Family Assistance Program of San Bernardino, was counting on us. Food items and art supplies were delivered to our group homes ahead of schedule. We met on-line with our guest speaker, R.J. Jackson, The Courage Giver, who engaged our youth around the core topics of empathy, serving others, and being your best self. The lunch bags were decorated and filled with care. The lunches were delivered this week to our grateful non-profit partner.
Since Spring, the Student Success Partnership has been on-line with the youth we serve. We have offered academies, run our summer program, and provided tutoring, all virtually. We feel fortunate that our group home companies continue to see the value in the services we provide and have been very supportive of our efforts.
Until we are back face-to-face, we know that our youth are getting the best services we can provide.
In collaboration with the School of Education at the University of Redlands, the Student Success Partnership receives funding from San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools Foster Youth Services Coordinating Program and the San Bernardino City Unified School District. Dr. Carol Franklin, Kelly Kwok, and Catherine Walker manage this program.