Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Welcome Spring 2013 Project Managers

All of the Spring College Project Managers have been assigned to their schools and have begun working with their high school students! We asked the Project Managers to check in and tell us how their first meetings with their team went and what are looking forward to accomplishing this semester.

My first meeting with my team as being project manager went better than I expected! I was not sure what to expect because I have never done anything like this before. I also wasn’t sure what it would be like working with high school students because I have typically only supervised younger children. We met at the Neulife Community Resource Center, and there were about seven of us. I was surprised at how much my team knew about water conservation and why it was important. I was also surprised at how eager they were to work on this project; they seemed to really care about what they were doing. This really impressed me and excites me to continue to come back. Overall, my first meeting went great and I am excited to keep working on this project.”  - Lacy – Neulife 

My first week with the team consisted mostly of getting caught up to date on what has been done so far with regards to the project. We figured out what we could further do to advertise the Beasty Barrels so we will be able to continue to sell them. We used Facebook to put posts and pictures for our friends to see and we brainstormed other possible ideas to advertise as much flyers and the website. We have very strong creativity skills so we are confident we will be able to think of ideas that will be effective in getting the word out about Beasty Barrels.”  - Mary – Neulife 

“The first session with my team was a lot of fun. We met at the Open Mike room in the Grand Avenue Mall. The room is very spacious and there were quite a few kids involved in the program. I am in charge of the group that is working on doing interviews with non-profit organizations around Milwaukee that deal with the water crisis. These interviews will then go on the website for public viewing in hopes that people will become educated about the organizations and of the water crisis as well. 

My group is comprised of about ten kids. I was surprised at how intelligent the kids in my group were. They all worked very well together and they also had a lot of great ideas and input for the interviews. Some strength that I will bring to the team are organization, word and sentence structure, and manageability. In terms of weaknesses, sometimes I get lost in the fun and lose track of time. I also may et off topic once in awhile. Hopefully the kids will keep me on track

The team’s strengths overall are their ability to work together, their friendliness, their work ethic, and their dedication, The group is a wonderful group of kids and they are extremely dedicated to the program. At the same time, they have fun with what they are doing. I am excited for the upcoming meetings and the completion of the project.” – Rachel – PLI

“For the first session, my classmate Rachel and I met the Milwaukee Public School students at the Lead to Succeed offices at the Grand Avenue Mall. I was impressed with the turnout of students and the organization of the program directions. Immediately, I felt like a part of the fabric of the program. Everyone was welcoming and by the end of the first session we were taking pictures of the whole group working together! I wasn’t really sure what to expect but I was hopeful there would be an opportunity to help some young students work on something that would fulfill a passion of theirs. It turns out that the high school students are incredibility thoughtful and excited about environmental issues, which is the program’s primary focus. One of the three options we were asked to choose from was an interview assignment, which is one of my strengths, as I come from a journalism background at UWM. I am hoping I can provide the students with some insight to help them on their task. The group of kids, our team shows an impressive amount of enthusiasm on this subject, which I feel is the biggest strength in not only this assignment, but in life.”  – Michael – PLI 

“I have officially started my role as project manager for WCLL with Lead to Succeed. I was not sure what to think going in to my first meetings with these kids, but I was excited. I love working with kids, especially those who all have a common goal and purpose. And these kids definitely brought a bit of passion for our projects with them to the first meeting. 
Trevor Hines, who is the facilitator of our project, told me that the usual number of students that show up is eight, so most of them were still showing up faithfully. Not too bad considering that these kids have been working on this project for weeks already before I joined. 

Our project focus is to help people who understand the damage that can come from overusing water, and from polluting our water. I was surprised at how much these kids already know about the pollution in Milwaukee. As a high school student, I was aware that as a population we are slowly but surely destroying our earth, but I had no idea how much the smallest things can have the largest impacts. These kids, on the other hand, seem to grasp this, which makes this project a lot easier to manage because I don’t know to spell it out for them. They are wise beyond their years and are willing to do what needs to be done to educate other about water usage in Milwaukee. 

My team’s strengths are that we have a solid group of kids who come prepared to work and who come with ideas. None of these kids seem shy, which is a huge strength for our team. These kids were also never afraid to give a new idea or piece of advice for how e can relate to the people we plan to go out and interview. The biggest weakness would have to be the fact that as much as these kids now, they are still kids, and can only comprehend so much without actually experiencing some of the stories and instances we talk to them about. This is where I come in as project manager. I can help these kids see the bigger picture and give them more facts and statistics that will make us stronger as a team. It also helps that Google is right on our fingertips! I am already learning so much from my group and I cannot wait to learn more!”  - Melanie – WCLL

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