Youth Programs are Back at BCLS

This blog post was written by a guest contributer, Dayanara Almon:

“Hello! My name is Dayanara, I am 17 years old, and I am a rising senior at The Northwest School. This summer (of 2022) I was a summer intern at TAF through the Bank of America Student Leaders Program! During my internship I supported the Operations and Development teams. Writing this piece has been a exciting opportunity for me to connect my passion for writing (journalism) with my work at TAF.”

For students and educators working with TAF the learning doesn’t stop during the summer break. Some examples of this summer programming include Jumpstart TAF@Saghalie and the STEMbyTAF Summer Institute for network teachers. Beyond these programs TAF partners with programs such as the King County Parks Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) and Geeking Out Kids of Color (GOKiC) throughout the summer of 2022. TAF provides space for these programs at the Bethaday Community Learning Space (TAF Headquarters) otherwise known as BCLS. 

Geeking Out Kids of Color, otherwise known as GOKiC, provides educational programs and resources with goals to “close the digital literacy gap” for youth of color. GOKiC is a computer science, tech focused program built on the values of intersectionality, education, equity, and making technology more accessible in learning. GOKiC provides summer programs and after school programs all around the Seattle area. Throughout Washington state, GOKiC offers various virtual programs for students of color. One of these programs is right here at the TAF Headquarters (BCLS), this summer GOKiC is working with about 15 elementary and middle school aged students. This summer the GOKiC STEM program is focused on prototypes and the use of modern technology in STEM. The students recently worked on an egg drop project, where they designed and built their own egg cases using 3D printing tech. Next, they’ll be working on launching rockets! Programs like GOKiC are so important because they provide a place and platform for people of color to thrive.

The YCC Intern Experience

Each summer 10 high school students participate in the King County Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) a 7-week summer internship program that celebrates student diversity. This internship provides students the opportunity to learn about climate/environmental justice in their communities and around the world. Throughout the summer, interns participate in various workshops, engage and lead discussions, and seek environmental solutions. Interns are connected to other opportunities beyond the YCC where new learnings and skills (such as networking, public speaking, writing, etc.) can be further deepened.

Here is what the interns had to say about their time at TAF headquarters for this program:

What is your favorite part of the YCC? Why did you apply?

What is your favorite project or activity that you worked on?

What is something important you have learned?

What impact has this internship had on you so far?

What do you think this program is important?

It has been the first time the Technology Access Foundation has had student programming in the BCLS building in over 2 years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With students back in the halls the building is so alive and vibrant.  This is just one reason why having 2 programs back in the building has been exciting for these programs and for staff at BCLS! Through partnering with these programs TAF continues to not only uplift youth in their learning but also support other organizations in doing the same through their work. It is a powerful thing to see these organizations come together for one common goal and lifting each other as they climb. This inspires and empowers young people to create more opportunities for themselves and their communities.

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