(Justin Scott is a Program Instructor for the Scholars Program. He is serving with FLOC as an AmeriCorps VISTA member.)
This year, as part of its middle and high school programs, the FLOC Scholars program is teaming with The George Washington University to provide a series of guided workshops centered on self-awareness, self-expression, and creative exploration. Each week, Professor Leslie Jacobson, Chair Emeritus of GW’s Theatre and Dance Department, brings a cohort of student volunteers to put on the workshops.
So far, the workshops have been a major success. Some of Prof. Jacobson’s activities are more lighthearted, intended to get students to open up before tackling more serious topics. Others are more serious and get our FLOC Scholars thinking critically about the world around them.
For example, one activity had students present their visions of change in short skits. Some chose to focus on personal change. “I want to change my bad attitude,” Sara said, and explained to the rest of the group why that would benefit those around her. Others chose to focus on more systemic change. “I want to change the power structure in the world,” Luis told the group. “Until the power structure changes, the change you all want to see can’t happen.”
At the end of each one-hour workshop, the students write in their personal journals (shown above) to reflect on the day’s discussion. Just flipping through each of the books, it’s clear our FLOC Scholars are thinking critically about themselves and their places in the world. Their growth over the first month of the workshop is tangible, and it’s exciting to see some of our program participants opening up and participating more than before. It will be even more exciting to see what kind of progress they make over the next few months.