Thursday, September 22, 2016

Reading Coaching: Pro-Tips from Scholars

By Kerry Kennedy (2nd year SC) and WTHS Scholars

Warren Scholars have officially been in school for a month! This means that REP has also been in full swing for a month. Before starting novels, our Scholar Coaches and Scholars have been working on “get to know you” activities, as well as establishing expectations and goals for the year.  Since we have so many Scholars new to reading coaching, we’re excited to share a few tips from the veterans. Sophomores who have been in Schuler for a year recently shared their dos and don’ts of reading coaching with coaches: all incoming Scholars take heed!

On Discussions:
  • “Don’t stay quiet…it will be awkward.” –Jose Maldonado ‘19
  • “Spill out your thoughts without inhibition. Lose the fear of being wrong or different.” –Michael Osuji ‘19
  • “Try to stay comfortable when having a discussion--if you don't exactly like the topic, change it.” –Angie Deleon ‘19
  • “Don't be afraid of not being able to do everything or not understanding something.” –Tinyah Ervin ‘19
On Workload
  • “Be honest if you did [or didn’t do] your REP homework.” –Grisel Cornejo ‘19
  • “Take your time journaling. If you finish before the time ends, keep jotting down ideas.” –Rafael Rodriguez ‘19
  • “You should be confident in your REP assignments since there is no right or wrong answer.” –RJ Mangaran ‘19
  • “Ask yourself questions while reading a text.” –Bri Dominguez-Barnes ‘19
On Coach-Scholar Relationships:
  • “Develop a good connection with your coach, it will help personalize the experience!” –Lizy Ochoa ‘19
  • “Be honest when your coach asks how school is going! If you're stressed, the coaches will help you with strategies.” –Erika Jimenez ‘19
  • “Establish a relationship with your coach, don't be too formal, and it will be more fun!” –Hannia Sanchez-Alvarado ‘19

Thursday, September 15, 2016

NCCHS Scholars reflect on Summer College Programs

Eight NCCHS junior Scholars had the opportunity to attend various Summer College Programs (SCPs) across the nation this summer, from Princeton University to Barnard College. Scholars reflected on their most memorable moments of SCP. 

"SCP was an amazing experience that allowed me to grow. I had the opportunity to attend Junior Statesmen of America at Princeton University and the National Hispanic Institute. SCP consisted of many memorable moments but one happened towards the end. I remember there were a few days left and I was sad that it was coming to end. I thought about everything that had happened and realized how much of an effect SCP had on me. Everything that happened and all the people I met changed my life. That for me was the most memorable."
Oliver Barrera, Princeton University

"The most memorable parts of SCP were the people and the activities because I met many people with similar interests as me as well as people from different walks of life. The activities (for example going to the nearest amusement park) were also a great opportunities to bond and get to know people." 
Jeremias Figueroa, University of Rochester

"A unique experience I had while on my SCP was when I went to Newport, RI. While I was there, a group of friends and I went out for lunch and explored the city. What made it unique was that it was a city I´ve never been to and we had a lot of freedom to explore."
Diana Gallardo, Brown University

"My most memorable moment at SCP is when I saw the Color Purple, Phantom of the Opera, and the Fiddler on the Roof on Broadway all in one week!  It was memorable because I had never seen a Broadway show until then." 
Asia Harrington, Barnard College

"One of my most memorable moments during my time at Carleton College was going to the Science Museum of Minnesota. At the museum, there was an exhibit called “RACE: Are We So Different,” and within it, a play called “Race To The Finish Line.” The play was about two colleagues who started to discuss the topic of race and began to drift apart as a result. This impacted me because I also feel like race is a hard topic to discuss with other people and that a strong friendship could easily be destroyed." 
Dennis Tanner, Carleton College

"My most memorable moment at SCP was when my floor stayed up until 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. We ordered pizza, played games, and listened to music that night. After that, we just asked questions about each other to get to know one another better. After that night, we all got along with each other and knew more about each other, something that many floors didn’t do.  It was memorable because we didn’t really know each other and we were all from different backgrounds but we still manage to get along and have fun that night." 
Jerry Tapia, Brown University

"My most memorable moment at Boston University was going to the Boston Harbor and getting on a ferry to go an island. It was my most memorable because of the boat ride. I also enjoyed the activities we did when we got to the island. The boat ride was the best because of the view we had of the city, and also I just love being on the water. When we got on the island we played a big game of capture the flag and that was amazing."
Ishaun Walker, Boston University

"My most memorable moment at SCP was when everyone hung out in the hallway and talked. We learned a lot about each other and met new people. We learned about everyone's life at home to what everyone's shoe size was. That was the moment we got close. We weren't at some college with people we didn't know, we were with close friends at a home away from home."
Jaelyn Washington, Washington University in St. Louis 

Scholar Reflection: International Program

By Giselle Fesalvo, Highland Park High School '17

Through The Experiment in International Living, and sponsorship from the Schuler Scholar Program, I was granted the amazing opportunity to travel and study abroad in South Korea for a month during the summer of 2016.  The focus of my program was social justice and peace studies.  Through discussion and workshops, each individual grew in many aspects from individual empowerment and in group dynamics.
Sixteen teenagers, from all walks and backgrounds of life, came together with one common interest: social justice.  This allowed for deep insightful conversations, inspiring ideas, and motivational spirits throughout our program.  We talked for hours about women’s rights, along with LGBTQ+ rights.  We had many late nights talking about our experiences with marginalization and there were many times where we learned from each other’s different perspectives of life.  For the first time in seventeen years, I felt empowered by my community to share my ideas and thoughts.  I felt as if my vocal contribution meant just as much as the next person’s, and I didn’t feel as though my voice was suppressed by those around me.  We discussed things that people don’t want to talk about because we understood that sometimes the things people don’t want to talk about are the things that should be discussed the most.
Besides the maturation and growth we experienced from a social justice aspect, we all definitely grew in a cultural aspect as well.  We traveled across all of South Korea, from the border of North Korea, to the southern end of Busan.  Staying in a hostel instead of a hotel allowed for us to truly get in touch with the culture of South Korea, even meeting other tourists and hearing their stories of how they ended up where they were.  The homestay was a remarkable experience, and it was very heart breaking to say goodbye to our host families.  They welcomed us with open arms, and they were definitely a family my own family would be glad to know was taking care of me.
I believe Schuler prepared me very well for this program, teaching me the fundamentals of advocating for myself, mentoring me in ways so that culture shock wouldn’t be as impacting, and even preparing me in the sense that they helped me build confidence in myself from the beginning.  However, one of my biggest challenges in regards to traveling internationally was adjusting back to the norms of America and overcoming reverse culture shock.  After talking so much about social justice and being surrounded by a community so passionate about what we were learning, coming back to my community where it is “hush-hush” was very difficult for me… but that doesn’t stop me.  I still feel very strongly about what I learned and will do everything I can to carry on the lessons.
I would like to express my deep and genuine gratitude to both the Schuler Program and to The Experiment for allowing me to embark on such an amazing journey that led to my own personal growth.  Much of what I have learned there can be applied to my everyday living- today and in the future.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Summer Sailing Exposure

Scholars have been busy this summer! They participated in art workshops, learned to code, and went on exposures all across the city. One favorite summer exposure and new Schuler tradition is the sailing exposure. For the third year in a row, Scholars had the opportunity to sail on Lake Michigan through Sail Chicago, an organization committed to making sailing accessible for the Chicago community.

This exposure began when Tom Simms, a former Schuler College Connections Coach and volunteer captain at Sail Chicago, had the idea of teaching Scholars to sail. This year 70 Scholars from nine different partnership schools participated.

For many Scholars, this was their first time on a sailboat. According to Marco Barcenas, a sophomore Scholar from Round Lake High School, “sailing was fun, but a lot of work-- your hands get tired from all the reeling! I got to put my feet in the water. I thought I almost fell, so I had to hold on extra tight to the bar. It was a fun, new experience. I would have never gotten to go sailing otherwise, because my parents don’t like the city or water.”

Overall it was a great way to spend a summer day and we are excited for even more Scholars to go sailing next year. Special thank you to Tom Simms for coordinating the boats and volunteers, and to the 13 volunteers who taught our Scholars to sail! 



Thursday, September 8, 2016

Scholar Reflection: Summer Research at Northwestern University

By Sebastian Sak ‘16, Tufts University ‘20

The Schuler Scholar Program is a great springboard to prepare for life after high school. This summer I had the opportunity to participate in a research internship at Northwestern University in Chemical and Biological Engineering. This internship was exclusive to Schuler Scholars. One high school Scholar and one College Scholar were given the chance to work in a graduate lab and expand their knowledge and skills in the STEM field. I was selected as the Maine East Scholar to submit my application. After passing the initial round, I had to go through an interview. I felt confident throughout the application process because of the tips Schuler had provided in regards to filling out applications and preparing for interviews.

Being new to research, I had many new things to learn and become familiar with. I first had a lot of new terminology to learn. In research, there is a lot of literature to read from previous studies that have been done on the subject. Another task was meeting weekly with the Principle Advisor, the professor that proposes new research and applies for grants. We would inform him of our progress and he would teach us a few things to help. Our work involved researching Acinetobacter baylyi, a common soil bacteria, to understand natural transformation. Natural transformation is a bacteria’s ability to uptake DNA without the use of chemicals or electroshock. Daily tasks included growing cultures,     performing the transformation, working with data, calculating statistics and learning other lab techniques.
Overall this experience was invaluable to me. Through this internship I learned lab skills that most freshmen going into college would not have. The experience of working in this lab will be a huge advantage in searching for other research opportunities. This experience has also helped me network and it is important to have great people, such as those that I met at Northwestern, that can help me out. Opportunities like these are hard to discover and I am very grateful for the support Schuler has given me.