Monthly Archives: March 2014

10th Grade Scholars Make Connections

Each year around this time, FLOC partner College Summit organizes a Career Week, bringing professionals from the community into high school classrooms and after-school workshops to share their journeys through high school, college, and the world of work.  Last Wednesday, as part of this effort, three professionals from Deloitte, Blackboard, and Howard University volunteered an hour of their evening to visit the FLOC Scholars 10th grade workshop.  One by one, the panelists spoke of overcoming challenges in high school in order to get to and succeed in college and career.

One of the panelists instantly scored points with a student when she said she attended Woodrow Wilson High School, where he currently attends.  She spoke of how academic mentors, professional connections, and her personal persistence helped her realize her potential, turn around her grades, and obtain jobs working with students after college.  Her words of wisdom were well-received; she encouraged the students to take advantage of the opportunities that a college access and success program like FLOC provides.

The second panelist caught the attention of the students when she told her story of changing course; she started school wanting to be a doctor, but when she struggled in her chemistry class, she decided to change her major and become a personal trainer instead.  And after graduation she was exposed to work and new experiences abroad and then made her transition into the field of consulting.  She taught the students the importance of adapting but never giving up when our paths get rocky – and they will get rocky.

And last but not least, the third panelist lent her perspective about college life to the students.  Although she emphasized the importance of time management, she also explained how college coursework was more interesting, thus allowing her to grow as a person.  After college, she landed a job at a growing company and, before long, was recognized for her good work and promoted to a management position.  She also demonstrated her love for learning, sharing that she is currently working toward a master’s degree.

After listening attentively, the students jumped at the chance to ask the panelists questions about their future goals and dreams.  After an engaging hour of high school, college, and career talk, it was clear that the work the students had been doing all year was paying off.  The 10th grade students were more eager than ever to get back to work on their “10 Year Plan”, researching and preparing for how their own path might play out over the next decade.

(Jessie Garrett is a Scholars Program Instructor at FLOC).

Join Us at Our Annual Beyond the Classroom Fundraising Luncheon

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For Love of Children (FLOC) would like to invite you to our annual Beyond the Classroom Fundraising Luncheon on Thursday, May 1, at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park.

This inspiring event brings FLOC friends, new and old, together to hear from FLOC students, families, volunteers, and board members about the work we do to ensure that DC youth have a viable path to educational success and earning a postsecondary degree.  This year’s event is especially important to us, as we share more about our strategic planning efforts and our vision for growth.

In the development of FLOC’s strategic plan, we asked ourselves how FLOC could use its successful focus on enhancing learning to prepare students for postsecondary success, to have an even larger and more meaningful impact. We pushed beyond a simple calculation of growing the number of students served or opening a new satellite operation.  We rekindled a connection to our organization’s roots in the civil rights movement, and were energized by the activist spirit that lives in our organizational DNA.

We soberly named out loud the tragic inequity in our city, where children with family resources can easily secure tutoring, mentoring and college preparation services, while children in less advantaged neighborhoods struggle without access to educational services beyond the classroom — programs and services like those provided by FLOC.  We affirmed our belief that every child matters, and every child deserves access to programs that provide viable pathways to a postsecondary degree.  We embraced our role in empowering FLOC’s key stakeholders, our students and their families, to offer ideas and a path toward that change.

At our luncheon, on May 1st, we will share our vision for FLOC’s growth over the next several years, as well as opportunities to invest in creating a new future for our community and the students and families we serve. We invite you to come, share our message with others in our community, and support a path towards change. To R.S.V.P, please contact FLOC’s Operations Manager, Ellie Haga, by phone at 202-349-3500 or by email at ehaga@floc.org. We hope you will join us.

Middle School Scholars Lead Career Cluster Fair

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Middle school students in the Scholars Program have been investigating a wide range of professional fields and jobs, culminating in an exciting Career Cluster Fair. For two weeks, the Scholars worked in teams to create colorful and informative posters about the specific career clusters they were assigned.

This week, students served as experts in their respective fields, which included Manufacturing, Business Management, Marketing, Human Services and many others. Each team’s poster included potential jobs in the field, the skills required and several high school and college activities they might participate if they are interested in pursuing that career path.

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During the fair, students had two roles. Students embarked on a scavenger hunt between rooms to learn about the career clusters explored and presented by their peers as well as presented their own posters, answering any questions from their curious audience.

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The fair gave Scholars the opportunity to interact with students from different grade level workshops, learn about unfamiliar career pathways and show off their new expertise about various professions.

(Celestina Lee is a Scholars Program Instructor at FLOC).

Meet Judith Blagrove

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Judith first heard about FLOC while she was at her work at a bank, and a customer asked to have her FLOC background check forms notarized. After talking with her for a while, Judith could notice her excitement to work with FLOC students. The positive feedback from someone who was already a volunteer at FLOC made a great impression so she decided to visit FLOC’s website. “I was also impressed with the success stories that were featured on the website, so I completed an application.”

Judith joined FLOC as a tutor in February 2013. Since then she has had numerous great experiences with the students and the staff. “The staff is wonderful and the whole atmosphere is welcoming and full of learning that involves ‘play’ which is very essential,” Judith adds. Her favorite moments at FLOC with her students are “seeing the expressions on their faces after they receive that sheet of paper indicating that they have passed their tests. That is priceless.”

She currently tutors at the Tuesday Night Reading and the Thursday Night Math programs. Each Tuesday and Thursday, Judith goes home “with such a sense of accomplishment that my regular job so often fails to provide.”

Since Judith began to tutor at FLOC, her view towards life has changed. Being at FLOC has convinced her that things of importance and relevance are priceless.  “As a volunteer I am providing my students with academic help that is so meaningful yet carries no price tag.”

When Judith was growing up she also received help from individuals who dedicated their time and effort to assist in her academics. Both of the students that Judith tutors at FLOC are as grateful as she was, and they show respect in every session.

Every Tuesday she tutors Yoanabel, a 4th grader who is “very intelligent, is always willing to learn new things, and uses the information covered to introduce what she knows or build on what she already knows.”

On Thursdays she tutors Esteban, a high school student who is very dedicated to the program despite the numerous classes that he takes each day. Although Esteban is very quiet, they have bonded a lot during program. Besides working on his math skills, Esteban and Judith take some time to discuss his day at school and play his favorite game, UNO.

Judith’s experience at FLOC “is one that has really made me feel like I am touching someone’s life in a meaningful way.  I am being motivated to dedicate more time and energy into working with students as it is so rewarding and essential.”

(Lisvette García is the Bilingual Recruitment and Outreach Associate at FLOC).

Meet Tewabech: A Self-Determined and Artistic Scholar at FLOC

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Upon first interaction, Tewabech doesn’t strike you as a typical high school student. She’s reading George Orwell’s 1984 a second time for fun – this time outside of class to get more meaning out if it. If for some reason you needed ceramic carving tools, Tewabech could pull hers out of her backpack for you to borrow.

Tewabech is currently an 11th grader at arts-magnet high school Duke Ellington and this is her fourth year partaking in FLOC programming. Although her school lets out later than most, she makes the effort to come to FLOC each Wednesday for SAT prep.

She is a talented artist who is also passionate about science.  We witnessed her eyes light up as she learned of the Smithsonian’s prestigious summer internship opportunity called the Youth Engagement through Science (YES!) program. She was diligent and determined in completing her application and we wish her the best of luck.

Not only does Tewabech take her academics seriously, but she also places strong value on her relationship with teachers at school and staff members at FLOC. She is articulate in conversation and possesses maturity beyond her 17 years.  She emphasizes the importance of her family, and serves as a great role model for her younger sister, who she picks up every Monday from the Middle School Scholars Program.

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FLOC staff members unanimously agree that Tewabech has a bright future.  As a 10th grade student in the Scholars Program last year, she combined her drawing skills and her ambitious dreams to create an exemplary “10 Year Plan.”

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Tewabech wrote about getting good grades and building strong friendships in high school, and envisioned herself extending her college-going years to attend medical school and become an anesthesiologist.  She planned to never lose sight of her passion for art, and when making her budget for life after college, she recognized the importance of both saving and spending smart.

(Lauren Ballinger is a Scholars Program Instructor at FLOC).