Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Youth Volunteerism Campaign with the Boys and Girls Club:

This week we had our first meeting with the Mary Ryan Boys and Girls Club, which was more of an orientation and getting to know the very basics of the project.  The students seemed to be a very energetic group and I cannot wait to see what type of creative ideas they have in store for us.  
We presented the idea of how we will be learning about the importance of volunteerism and later the students will take all the information they’ve learned and put it together in a presentation to their peers.  As with the Financial Literacy project, we are leaving a lot of the decisions up to the students while we stand back and guide them through each meeting.  I look forward to getting deeper into the project and hearing all the feedback from the students.
-Chelsee Bates

It finally came; after two weeks of waiting because of the big snow storm, the Boys and Girls Club got underway.  For our first Monday night gathering the group was introduced to the adult leaders, mentors, and helpers that would be involved in their development of volunteerism. The night started off with an ice breaker that allowed the teens to get a couple quick laughs before settling down and getting the project started. The group was asked many questions about volunteer work to begin brainstorming. With some of the questions asked, I was able to find out which teens have volunteered before, where they have volunteered at, what makes them want to volunteer, and how excited each teen was to be able to have an opportunity to help others.
In our second meeting we began by dividing into three different groups and creating a commercial to promote volunteer work. With the teens knowing their main project for this semester was to create a presentation not only about volunteer work but also to promote volunteerism to other youth in the community; this was a great exercise for the teens to brainstorm their ideas. In my group we started off listing characteristics that would make a great commercial such as; entertaining, knowledgeable, color schemes, etc. to make sure that it would be meaningful to the other two groups we would be presenting too. By knowing what makes a good commercial, the group and I then began to brainstorm some benefits from volunteering that we could incorporate into our commercial. After presenting our commercial to the other two groups and the other two groups presenting theirs to us, I, along with the other mentor Chelsee led a group discussion about what questions might be asked before volunteering. To end the night, Laketta, Shannon, Laura, Chelsee, and I evaluated the next two weeks by creating agenda for next Monday and starting to get the project guide filled out so we can begin to share ideas with the group of what their presentation should be about.
-Lucas White

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Custom Rain Barrel Business Project with Neulife

Monday, February 21, 2011

We have had a productive first couple of weeks working at Neu-Life!  The business team began its work on designing the small business model that we will run our business on.  We also worked on and completed the rough draft of our project guide.  There are many issues and tasks that we need to overcome and complete, such as figuring out the small business program on the website, completing the business plan, and presenting our finished product to the rest of the team.  We are excited to conquer these tasks and move on to the next phase of the project which will be actually getting the rain barrel business off the ground.  Oh, and on a final note, we have come up with our business name… “Make It Rain Barrels!”

-Bryce McCourt

Global Youth Service Day With St. Joan Antida

Last Thursday I got to meet with my group of girls from St. Joan Antida High School.  It was a rush of emotions; it was overwhelming yet exciting.  For Global Youth Service Day, my group of seven students decided to make a rain garden to be installed in front of their school.  They had a great power point demonstrating the importance of water conservation as well as making the school look beautiful. With my group, I can see what the upcoming challenges are: organization, motivation, delegation, and implantation.  I gave each student a to-do list and will meet with them tomorrow for follow up on those tasks. Details like budget, type of plants to use and where to purchase them, when to plant, and most important, where to plant, are all items we need to consider.

In addition to meeting with the girls, I met with Karin Gratz, Director of Lead to Succeed.  She had many great ideas for getting started on the rain garden and will also be helpful in getting both the money to finance the project as well assisting in getting supplies donated.  I look forward to meeting Bill Malone, from the Department of City Development, as well to assist in this endeavor.

-Mary Jane Kunath

To begin our session, the entire group of students went to the library where they were separated into their groups they did research with last semester. Once they were divided into their research groups, I was in charge of mentoring a group of six girls where we discussed many key issues of water and how certain things, such as pollution, affect the water industry.
After continuing to answer many questions in their project guide, the group of girls then proposed their idea of what they would like to present on Global Youth Service Day.  My group is very interested in hair products and the effects of chemicals or other harmful solutions that are rinsed down the drain while people shower. In fact, through their research, the girls were able to find a shampoo product that harms the water less than all other shampoo products-making it easier to recycle the water with less effort and steps. While they weren’t exactly sure how they wanted to present this experiment, the shampoo product was their main interest and would be able to define their presentation, with the continuation of research.
-Lucas White

Financial Literacy Project with SUPAR

Monday, February 14, 2011

Yesterday, February 9th, we had the first Financial Literacy meeting with the SUPAR students after our long winter break.  While the mentors were off from school, the students were still having sessions but learning other things like how to fill out a resume' and hearing a few guest speakers.  Now that we are in the project phase, Rachel (mentor), Petra (facilitator) and I really need to get the students focused in on what they want to present, how they want to present it and who they want to present it to.  During the meeting we made great progress in the students’ plan to target their presentation to peers and in the way they believe will be most effective.  The students decided that using the internet as a networking tool will be a great way to reach out to many people with one popular source.  I am confident in our small group’s ability to put their greatest efforts into an excellent final project.  
-Chelsee Bates

I am currently working as a college mentor on a financial literacy project at SUPAR High School in Milwaukee. Last semester's focus with the teens was research-based, focusing on what is most important for youth to know as they enter adulthood. It has been a spectacular experience with the kids. They are all very intelligent and good-natured, which has created a wonderful experience for me.

If I had been asked a few months ago what I thought about working with teenagers, I would have suppressed a strong sense of disdain, but I have come full circle as I have realized that I thoroughly enjoy what I am doing and hope to create a career based around teens. While there are still some bumps in the road, this program, thus far, has truly been a breath of fresh air.-Rachel Schwarz

Custom Rain Barrel Business Project with High School of the Arts

As the lead to Succeed students continue to work on their projects, I would like to make sure that you are informed of what they are accomplishing. Because this week was the first session with two new college mentors, we did a lot of introductions. The students showed us their power point explaining how much research they put into the rain barrel project last semester.  The group of high school students that we are working with seem very devoted to the program and project and are an artistic group and  very excited to enter the hands-on part and to actually making the rain barrels.
-Codee Sigler