Scholars Program

Postsecondary Scholars Career Development Conference

Students enjoy a workshop on career entry.
Students enjoy a workshop on career entry.

June 13 marked the first of what is expected to be an annual conference offered to FLOC postsecondary students during the summer intercession.  The Saturday event gave students an opportunity to attend two workshops: one workshop, with Justin Kollinger, addressing topics revolving around graduate school, and another workshop, with Josh Christianson, on career preparedness.

Because the students in attendance were at different class standings within their undergraduate careers, the discussion of grad school began with the basic and introductory questions, concepts, and requirements.  Students were guided through questions that they should be asking themselves about pursuing a graduate degree, including whether or not they should go, as some fields require higher levels of education than others, how to select a specialization or field to go into for one’s graduate career, and what some of the good reasons (and bad reasons) are for pursuing a graduate education.  At the more practical level, the workshop gave an overview of how to make one’s application to graduate schools stronger, what services are available on campus to that end, and some of the exams typically required for admission into graduate programs.

The career workshop offered a walkthrough of some of the essentials for entering the workforce with a focus on résumés and interviewing with an accompanying guidebook which students could take home with them.  The discussion included some major “do”s and “don’t”s for résumé style and content, likewise with dos and don’ts for interviews (both in person and over the phone), and it gave students an overview of some of the things that they must do to prepare for their interview.  The session ended with an activity where students were given a chance to respond to some interview-style questions on the spot and get feedback on their answers.

Students were also offered a chance to network with their peers during an intercession between seminars.

(Andrea Julca is the Postsecondary Scholars Coordinator at FLOC). 

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Events

We All Scream for TriviaScream

The 2013 FLOC TriviaScream was a big success!  Each year, the students in our summer tutoring programs are invited to Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP for ice cream and trivia.  This year, there were trivia questions of four different categories: Wuzzles (or word puzzles), DC trivia, “name that character,” and “complete the Dr. Seuss rhyme.”  The students, FLOC staff members, and employees from Willkie Farr & Gallagher were divided into seven teams for the trivia portion of the afternoon, and each team did very well.  To see how you would have fared at the TriviaScream, here are a few examples of the questions students answered yesterday:

1. What is the phrase represented by this wuzzle?

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. What is the tallest building in Washington, DC?

3. Who is this character?

4. Complete the following rhyme:

You have brains in your head.  You have feet in your shoes.  You can steer yourself any direction you __________.

Answers:  1. Once upon a time.  2. The Washington Monument.  3. Junie B. Jones.  4. Choose.

A huge thank you to everyone who made this year’s TriviaScream possible, especially our friends at Willkie Farr & Gallagher.  We’re looking forward to testing our trivia skills with you again next year!

(Rachel Baxter is the Bilingual Recruitment & Outreach Assistant at FLOC).

Staff Perspectives

How YOU Can Spread the Word about FLOC Volunteer Opportunities

Here are 5 quick tips on how you can help us get the word out about FLOC:

  1. Recruit a friend to volunteer-People are much more likely to volunteer if they are recruited in a one-on-one conversation with a friend. Think of a few friends who you think might enjoy working at FLOC and share your experience with the organization. If everyone who currently tutors brought in just one friend we could serve more than 600 students!
  2. Share FLOC’s Facebook posts and Tweets-If you see a post on FLOC’s Facebook or Twitter that you think your friends might find interesting share it on your page! The more people that learn about FLOC, the greater the chance someone will volunteer. Who knows? One of your friends may be looking for an opportunity just like this. Helping is just a quick click away!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/forloveofchildren

Twitter: https://twitter.com/FLOC_DC

WordPress: https://forloveofchildren.wordpress.com/

  1. Send an email to your work or other organizations-Listservs can be a quick and easy way to reach a large number of people. Reach out to the people in your office or any other organization you are a member of and tell them a little bit about FLOC and why you love it.
  2. Hang flyers-If your office building, apartment, school, or even local coffee shops have bulletin boards or community postings put a flyer up. FLOC has a stock of flyers just ready to be posted around the greater DC area, so don’t hesitate to ask for some!
  3. Tell us about your community– We are always looking for new outlets to share FLOC opportunities, so if there is an event or group that we could use to reach out to the community, let us know! Markets, festivals, community blogs, neighborhood listservs and any other type of community gathering is an opportunity for FLOC to reach more potential volunteers. We are always looking for new places to table and flyer so even if you live outside of DC, we want to know what is going on in your community!

Thanks again to all of our families, volunteers, and donors for making FLOC such an effective organization. Your voices are an incredibly powerful tool in our outreach and we cannot thank you enough!

(Katie Draper is the Volunteer Outreach and Marketing Intern at FLOC).

Outdoor Education Center

The Outdoor Education Center’s New Website

We are excited to announce the The Outdoor Education Center of FLOC’s brand new website! Thanks to the TerpSys Company, we were able to completely revamp and update our outreach image online. Our new site is very versatile and can lead prospective groups, students, and organizations to our beautiful facility. The new site highlights our after school program, Leaders In Action, while also connecting the D.C. Programs to The Outdoor Education Center. Feel free to browse through our page to view our numerous team building, adventure recreation, and outdoor education program packages! The site also highlights our revenue generating programs as they help us continue our mission-based work in 2 local middle schools. Check out the website at http://www.flocoutdoors.org/.

(Sarah Nowicki is an AmeriCorps Vista at FLOC’s Outdoor Education Center).

Scholars Program, Staff Perspectives

Reflecting on Graduation

Graduation season is one of my favorite times of the year here at FLOC. The graduation can be a middle school, high school or college graduation, but the feeling is always the same. You walk into a room of proud parents, filled with excitement, nudging other parents out of their way so they can capture the perfect picture of their child.  Chatty graduates that are anxiously waiting for the opportunity to walk across the stage (without tripping) to get the degree they have worked so hard for while listening to the applause and shout outs from all of their loved ones in the audience. It is one of the only times where students can see the fruit of their hard work and a time for others to reflect on their own child/early adulthood with pride. While the speeches and music are inspiring, I would say that my favorite part is after the recessional. For about fifteen minutes, you are surrounded by flowers, balloons and hugging. Pictures are taken to forever capture this accomplishment and best of all, “thank you’s” and “I am so proud of you’s” can be heard over and over again. Graduations remind me of why I have chosen to be in this line of work. We all deserve a time in our life when the focus is on our accomplishments, and helping students achieve a goal on their path to adulthood is a great feeling.

(Sara Dia is the Scholars Program Specialist at FLOC).

Outdoor Education Center

Junior Counselors at the Outdoor Education Center

This summer, the Outdoor Education Center is happy to welcome two Junior Counselors, Holly and David. Holly was previously involved in the Leaders in Action program in West Virginia, while David is currently in the Scholars Program in DC. Both students are in high school and want to give back to the Outdoor Education Center of FLOC! Let’s learn more about these two wonderful students…

Sarah: How long have you been involved with FLOC?

Holly: I was in Leaders in Action for two years, in 7th and 8th grade, while I was at Harpers Ferry Middle School.  Now I am here to help with the summer camps.

David: I have been with FLOC for 6 years.  First, I participated in the Neighborhood Tutoring Program and now I am enrolled in the Scholars program.

Sarah: What in particular did you like about FLOC’s programming  during the school year?

Holly: I mostly liked that we did outdoor education and adventure activities and I liked getting to meet new people.

David: I am truly grateful that I have role models and a program that focuses on discussing school, scholarships, and future job opportunities. I also enjoyed the spring college tour where we visited universities and colleges along the east coast.

Sarah: What did you enjoy most about summer camp at the Outdoor Education Center?

Holly: In the past, I have had the most fun canoeing, rock climbing, zip lining, and completing the teambuilding activity known as Mohawk Walk! If you haven’t tried the high ropes course here, you should!

David: I have enjoyed many things while attending camp here at the OEC.  Some of my favorites have been high ropes, canoeing, meeting new people, the atmosphere of the OEC, and the teambuilding activity called Communication Breakdown.  During Communication Breakdown, you must take your blindfolded teammate to pick up a ball and toss it at the opposing team’s blindfolded participant. This activity focuses on communication and direction skills as well as overall teamwork.

Sarah: Why did you want to come back to the OEC this summer as a Junior Counselor?

Holly: Mostly because I have had a lot of fun here in past summers. Unfortunately, the OEC does not have a high school program so this is a way to get involved after middle school and learn vital leadership skills. I also want to become a counselor in a few years.

David: I mostly came back because I have always loved spending my summers at the OEC. I am also looking forward to learning various skills from the staff such as camping techniques, composting methods, and overall nonprofit management. I will also be focusing on improving my leadership skills while assisting camps.

Sarah: What are your future plans after your complete high school ?

Holly: I have my life pretty planned out.  I want to attend Shepherd or Concord University to study education while minoring in business and woman studies. After receiving my degree, I will enroll in the Peace Corps for 5 terms. Once I accomplish my 5 terms, I plan to open my first school for women and children in a third world county.  By the time I’m 45, I will have opened at least 5 schools.

David: I plan to attend college to study aeronautical and mechanical engineering with a minor in experimental sciences. I would then like to work for Boeing or NASA and eventually start my own business while still helping my community by donating to local nonprofits.

Sarah: What is your favorite dish made by Mike, the cook at The OEC?

Holly: I would definitely have to say his homemade veggie burgers, they are delicious!

David: My favorite meal here has always been ham glazed with honey and sugar.  However, I also like his homemade omelets.

(Sarah Nowicki is an AmeriCorps Vista at FLOC’s Outdoor Education Center).