Oh the Places You’ll Go…With a Little Guidance!

Stacy Normand is a Cultural Programs intern at the Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine. She is blogging about the Youth Imagine Project. Read her previous posts here.

Do you know the Dr. Seuss book Oh the Places You’ll Go? It’s a story many graduating high school students know well, whether they have read the book or not: the struggle to reach goals and go far in life. Sometimes, those long travels start with a step, sometimes with unsure footing. For example, I can clearly remember my college application process during my senior year of high school. I thought I was going to drown underneath the waves of papers that were consuming my desk, my bed, my bedroom floor, and also (much to my parents’ dismay) the living room coffee table.  I was completely overwhelmed. Without a guide, the college admissions process can be a confusing and convoluted path for many high school students. I can’t even tell you the things I would have given for someone to tell me exactly what a college admissions representative would be looking for in my application, or even just to answer the one, big question: which college do I choose?

This week in the Youth Imagine Project, our volunteers received a special visit from Meredith Gadd, an admissions representative from the University of New England. She talked with the students about the things they should consider when choosing a school, so that they would find the best fit. She discussed the growing trend of students getting their two year degree at a local community college before getting into a Bachelor’s program at a four year university. She also talked to students about admissions requirements, such as SAT scores and grades. Meredith then took questions from the students, many of whom plan on furthering their education in nursing programs at local universities and technical schools.

Perhaps what I’m trying to say is that there is a fine print to Dr. Seuss’s message. Yes, you can go very far. It will be hard, and you can work through it, but sometimes a little help goes a long way.  Contrary to the words of the late, great Dr. Seuss, we are not all alone in our journey for greatness. We were very thankful to have Meredith’s help this Tuesday, and she did a wonderful job! Our volunteers found her information very useful, especially as many of them are juniors and will be starting the college application process in the fall!

Looking to the Future

Stacy Normand is a Cultural Programs intern at the Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine. She is blogging about the Youth Imagine Project. Read her previous posts here.

This week during the Youth Imagine Project, a few students picked dates for their projects or for personal meetings to discuss their projects further. We also focused some more attention on job applications, and a few of our students even applied for the Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine’s Youth Ranger position! As our students begin preparing for summer, many of them have more and more questions regarding college as many of them will start the college application process when they return to school in the fall. To help our Youth Imagine volunteers, we have reached out to our friends at the University of New England, who will be sending an admissions official to discuss the application process with our students. More updates on that later!

This week, Jamie and I are also starting work on making the Youth Imagine Project a sustainable program. Thus, these next few weeks are going to dedicated to creating policies and procedures for future Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine staff. It’s a great time for Jamie and I to sit down and think about what worked about the Youth Imagine Project, and what still needs to be changed a little bit. We’ll be covering everything from recruiting and applications to the actual workshops volunteers participated in. We can’t wait to go over every detail!

Big Plans Ahead!

Stacy Normand is a Cultural Programs intern at the Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine. She is blogging about the Youth Imagine Project. Read her previous posts here.

It’s been a crazy couple of weeks! It’s SAT weekend for high school juniors (good luck to all you wonderful high schoolers who are taking them!) and it’s finals week at USM. Needless to say, both the Youth Imagine volunteers and I have been extremely busy!  Despite our hectic schedules, we had a successful meeting at Portland High School this week. Here are some things are wonderful Youth Imagine volunteers are doing:

  • Elfriede is about to start work on her painting. It will detail all of the different vegetables and fruits in our greenhouse. Isn’t that awesome?
  • Munira and Hindia are going to work together to do a theatre/storytime program about bullying and culture – more updates later on!
  • Samia is going to help out with some tea programs that we have at the Museum. She knows how to make Sudanese and Egyptian tea. Make sure to come in this summer when she is doing these tasty programs!
  • Alias is going to help in the putting together of our new greenhouse.
  • Suzan wants to do a language program about Arabic. We are thinking she might write a visitor’s name on a piece of paper for them in Arabic, which they can then decorate.

This last week the Youth Imagine volunteers have been participating in a professional development workshop about job applications and resumes. It’s the time of the year when high school students are looking for part-time and summer employment. Do you remember what it was like to get your first job? Wasn’t it exciting? Sometimes the process of finding a good job in high school can be confusing. How can you tell what an employer is looking for? How can you market yourself when you don’t have any job experience? These are some questions we tried to answer on Tuesday.  We cruised around some online job listings, and discussed what types of jobs were appropriate for high school students, and what types of companies hire seasonal employment. Next week, we will be focusing on resume writing. Some of our kids have already gotten a head start on their resumes, which is awesome! We hope that these types of workshops will help our kids enter the job market. It’s a tough thing to get started in for a lot of high school students! 

I also hope that next week we can start picking dates for our students to come in and do their programs with our visitors, or work on the projects that will be displayed in the Museum. I can’t wait to see how all of their projects turn out!

Starting Projects

Stacy Normand is a Cultural Programs intern at the Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine. She is blogging about the Youth Imagine Project. Read her previous posts here.

Getting our hands dirty!
Rahma and I get our hands dirty preparing soil blocks.

It seems like everywhere we look, someone new wants to help with our new greenhouse! Alias, one of our Youth Imagine volunteers, has decided that he wants to help with the construction of the greenhouse – from helping plant the seedlings to constructing the raised beds that they will be planted in. On Tuesday, Alias, Rahma, Jamie and I made soil blocks to plant the seeds in. These small soil blocks will be placed in larger ones once they have grown a bit, and then will eventually be moved into the greenhouse. We are just waiting until it gets a little bit warmer! We had a lot of fun getting our hands dirty!

Last Wednesday, Rahma was able to do her education program with our visitors! She taught them about the different parts of a plant. She used a carrot and a strawberry as examples, and while she was teaching them, the kids got to snack on baby carrots! Yum! Rahma was very excited about how well her program went, and remarked that all of the kids were so smart! Both Rahma and Alias have stated that they would like to continue volunteering with us after their Youth Imagine Project term is over. We are very excited to add them to our list of volunteers! Stay tuned for more news next week!