Project Reach: Summer 2015
Project REACH (Realizing Educational And Career Hopes), a TRIO Talent Search program, is one of the pre-collegiate programs at UMass Boston. The program identifies and serves disadvantaged youth, encouraging them to continue in and graduate from high school – and to further enroll in programs of post-secondary education.
Though the program works with 825 students during the school year, one of its highlights is the five-week summer preparatory program for thirty of its students. Participants in the summer program take core subject classes in the morning and participate in afternoon enrichment activities that allow participants to be express themselves.
These core classes either build on or review information learned during the school year. One participant of the program, Carolyn, said, “Project REACH helps me retain the things I have learned during the school year.” In the afternoon, pupils partake in arts and crafts that allow them to express themselves such as a workshop on T-Shirt design. Another student, Josemarie, said, “Project REACH allows me to have a creative outlet that I wouldn’t have if I wasn’t in the program”
One of the new aspects of the program includes the Biology course, which is being supplemented by a gardening club in the afternoon. This collaboration sees the application of classroom material in a real world setting. Project REACH also has more opportunities for leadership such as the Student Council where students can voice issues that the student body would like to change.
The program additionally has a system in place where classes compete against one another based on rules such as attendance. Another new development of the program is the gender specific meetings where young men and women meet in separate groups and discuss issues that are relevant to them.
I am excited and thrilled to cover a program with so many intriguing aspects to the curriculum.