Urban Scholars First Week Back! Breakdown of the Summer 2017
These high school and college students could have been anywhere else in the world this summer, but they decided to spend their summer here at UMass Boston with Urban Scholars. This year the program will have 40 returning students and 30 new students. Urban Scholars is a pre-collegiate program that serves academically motivated high school students from select Boston Public Schools, who are low-income and/or first-generation college bound students, by giving them the tools necessary to successfully enroll in and complete college.
The Urban Scholars participating high schools include:
- Jeremiah E. Burke
- TechBoston Academy
- Excel High School
- The Dearborn
- West Roxbury Academy
- Urban Science Academy
The following is an overview of the Urban Scholars Summer Institute which started on Monday, June 26, 2017. Scholars gathered in the auditorium to have their first community meeting where they got the agenda for the summer.
During the Community meeting Jeff introduced the core staff, Teacher Assistants (TA’s), and the mission of the Urban Scholars program along with other important details such as: daily schedule, choosing a workshop, field trips on Fridays, competition & earning points, and teams.
Attending weekly meetings:
Every Monday students check-in for weekly updates on classes, field trips and last but not least, team points.
Every summer high school students take classes that prepare them for the following school year. Below are the classes offered to students by grade. Each class runs for 70 minutes and each student without an internship takes 3 courses.
Freshmen are offered: Algebra 1, Spanish and ELA (Shakespeare)
Sophomores are offered: Geometry, ELA and an elective
Juniors are offered: Algebra 2, ELA, and an elective
Seniors are offered: SAT prep classes, College writing and Senior Seminar
Performing and/or creating art in workshops:
- Afro Dance and Social Justice with McKersie Previous ( in Jamaica Plain)
- Improv Comedy with Improv Asylum ( in the North End)
- Get Creative at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) (In the Seaport District)
- Playing and creating your own musical instruments with Musician Michael Prentky (On campus)
Choosing field trips of their choice, “Free Choice Fridays”
Students have the opportunity to dip their feet in the water to see which field they see themselves working in in the future. Since this year is more career-orientated, students can explore:
- Pig Heart Dissection at Mass General Hospital (Friday June 30th)
- NECO Field Trip Field Trip and EMK Institute (July 7)
- The Movies (July 14)
- Boston University Social Work/Public Health School (July 21st)
- Court Visit with the District Attorney (August 1st)
- Six Flags (August 4th)
Free-Choice Fridays allows students with or without an internship to explore within different career sectors. Walking through life like you would in a buffet, picking up new plates/new items, is a really great way to explore potential career fields.
10 Urban Scholars participate in the John Hancock MLK Internship at sites:
- Edward M. Kennedy Institute, Quinn Graphics, Urban Scholars, UMass Boston IT Dept., UMass Boston Health Center and the Campus Kitchen.
Participating in the team competitions:
The students divide into four teams—Red, Green, Blue, and Orange—to compete in traditional athletic and board games such as soccer, football, Minute to Win it, Pictionary and Scavenger Hunt.
This year students will be able to submit the following items below for points, thanks to Jake:
- SAT Questions of the Week
- Inspiring Quote of the Week
- Poem of the Week
“The SAT challenge questions are more about students working as a team to answer questions that they’ll have to answer on their path to college, taking standardized tests which can be not necessarily the most fun thing to do.” Jake says.
“By creating an incentive to answer those questions I think can make it more enjoyable and into the color war competition, so they’ll be more enthusiastic about that… In terms of going and finding quotes, hopefully the idea is that . . . in their search for finding one quote, [they] will find many more that they will look at and take with them.”
Urban Scholars never fails to impress me with how it evolves through the years. I appreciate the work the pre-collegiate has done thus far welcoming in students from Boston Public Schools (BPS) and easing the transition to the following school year whether it is high school or college with captivating interactive, inclusive, and cultural events. I hope readers are as excited as I am to explore what this summer has to offer! Stay tuned for more updates, until next post!
This is brought to you by,
Anny with a “Y” Thach