Many of our high school participants held Virtual Internships with amazing corporate partners such as Golden State Warriors, Rakuten, Benefit Cosmetics, Google, Zumper, and H2O+. Internship host Divya Kathuria came back for another summer of hosting an intern after her first experience was so rewarding and said “I was first awestruck by how excited and motivated the girls are. Both girls I have worked with are eager to learn about their future career options.” Thanks to all of our field trip hosts and internship hosts for supporting our girls’ summer learning opportunities and partnering with us to expose them to the greater community and world around them.
Our high school participants took part in college panel discussions and virtual college tours on many campuses this summer. This included tours of UCLA and UC Davis led by Girls Inc. of Alameda County alumnae. The scholars learned about Admissions, cost of attendance, college atmosphere, study abroad, college majors, adjusting to college life, college responsibility, access, and navigating mental health. Furthermore, scholars learned how to be resourceful, and remain resilient throughout their entire college process.
Rising seniors took college classes at Laney with our support to gain experience and confidence with college-level courses and secure additional credits for their transcripts. The scholars got to choose whether their class would support their academic journey or help them develop their passions. Some chose math while others chose creative writing and painting.
Scholars were also paired with a Volunteer Essay Mentor to support them in working on their college application essay questions and scholarship essay prompts. Over the course of mentoring sessions, they focused on the brainstorming process, choosing prompts, creating rough drafts, and receiving constructive feedback from essay mentors. This individual attention and intentional planning gives our scholars the support they need to succeed in the college application process.
One cohort engaged deeply with an organization called Sea Otter Savvy, learning about sea otters and the importance of protecting them as part of our coastal community, as well as guidelines for viewing wildlife responsibly and how to create a safer, healthier coastal environment. The three-part engagement ended with a virtual paddling adventure in Elkhorn Slough leveraging technology in order for the girls to experience a raft of sea otters.
Leadership and Advocacy
This summer we facilitated a Summer leadership Institute for youth wanting to learn more about leadership and advocacy. High school leaders could choose from two different cohorts.
Youth for Health and Justice focused on health disparities and how they uniquely affect different marginalized communities. Leaders learned about strategies to advocate for themselves in medical spaces, as well as discussed their level of comfort talking to medical professionals about their health. Leaders built their skills in self-advocacy in healthcare settings, as well as their skills to be an advocate for reproductive health and justice.
Youth Lead Now! focused on civic engagement, political advocacy, organizing, and leadership. The leaders participated in a mock bill passing activity in which different groups of students represented different branches of the government experiencing the process of passing a bill. While debating whether or not the voting age should be lowered to sixteen, they shared their individual reasoning, disagreed with each other, and listened intently to the perspectives of their peers on this timely and controversial topic. The leaders gained a deeper understanding of how the government passes a bill, as well as the polarizing opinions and beliefs that can easily delay that process. They walked away with an understanding that the decisions local officials are making impact them and they can use their unique perspective as BIPOC youth to challenge policy.