On June 13th, FLOC held its annual Fred Taylor Scholarship Dinner at St. Francis Monastery to honor and celebrate our graduating seniors from both high school and postsecondary. Students, families, postsecondary coaches, board members and FLOC alumni filled the room to recognize our students’ hard work and highlight their achievements.
After dinner, Leon Harris, award-winning journalist and ABC News anchor, inspired our students to find their passion by exploring new interests and being prepared when an opportunity arises. He encouraged students to soak up all that college has to offer and never let anyone tell them what they cannot do. Believe in yourself and you will succeed!
To close the evening, the audience provided “keys to success” for our graduates as they transition to college and beyond. Students were advised to meet new people, study abroad, budget, stay in touch, find a mentor and build a community similar to home. We are so proud of our seniors and wish them the best of luck! Go on and do great things and know that FLOC is always there for you.
(Kimberly Davis is the Scholars College Access Coordinator at FLOC).
The beginning of summer for most of us means a time to relax, take a break from school and enjoy the weather. Here at FLOC, we have finished our school year programs, congratulated our high school graduates and celebrated another successful year of programs. However, FLOC is also busy welcoming our summer interns, conducting volunteer orientations and trainings and enrolling both new and returning students in our NTP Summer Academy.
This six-week program is designed to prevent summer learning loss and jumpstart a students’ preparation for the next grade level in the fall. Typically, over the eight weeks of summer break, students who don’t practice their skills will start the next school year three to six months below where they ended the previous school year. This is especially true for low-income, first-generation students. Last summer, FLOC students gained five months’ improvement in reading and three months’ improvement in math.
FLOC is glad to offer the NTP Summer Academy to nearly 90 students every summer. However, the expenses associated with the costs of running the summer academy do add up and we rely heavily on the support of individuals like you to support this critical programming. Today, for one day only, support FLOC and hundreds of area nonprofits in the United Way of the National Capital Area’s second annual Do More 24 campaign and give where you live!
We invite you to share with your networks our campaign page, our online posts and the video from our fundraising luncheon this May. We will be posting on Twitter and Facebook all day to urge our followers to support us in this one day of online giving. Last year, FLOC won a $5,000 award for the most dollars raised in the day. This year, the award for most dollars raised in the day is $7,500. With your help, we can take the top honors again and offer our programs to even more deserving students in DC. We value your support as advocates for FLOC, and hope you will join us in supporting our community in the Do More 24 campaign!
(Kate Fleischer is the Development Assistant at FLOC).
Last week, FLOC held the 9th Annual Recognition Event and Empower Awards at the Woman’s National Democratic Club. The event was well attended with a great mix of students, families, and volunteers from both the Neighborhood Tutoring Program (NTP) and the Scholars program. What I loved most about the event was that we highlighted everyone together. All of our honorees were recognized for embodying the values of dreaming, advocating, and bridge building. For those who were not able to attend the event, I would like to share some of the important moments of the event.
The first is a sentimental moment where a colleague and I were able to honor one of our FLOC advocates who had recently passed away. Her name was Fanny Canar and she first arrived at FLOC’s door in the fall of 2006 to get tutoring support for her daughter. Although NTP was not the right fit for her daughter, she ended up enrolling her into the Scholars program and later became an advocate for many other families who needed FLOC’s free educational services. Over the course of 8 years, Fanny would ask questions about the enrollment process, take applications and she would even follow up with families when we needed help. She was a true believer of FLOC and she will be dearly missed. I am so blessed to have known her and to have participated in the portion of the ceremony commemorating her.
Another memorable part of our ceremony was when we honored our 8th graders for being halfway to college. We named that portion of the ceremony, “Halfway Day 2014”, because that is exactly what my mentor did for me when I was in 8th grade. She bought shirts with our college graduation date on the front for everyone in my class and she encouraged us to dream and plan for that date. I was strongly impacted by her gesture and her involvement in my life that I thought it would be appropriate to replicate that with our 8th graders. Here is a picture of the four 8th graders who attended the event and received a shirt!
Finally, the event ended with a very touching and powerful video that showed our students, families, and volunteers talking about their dreams, their bridge-building skills, and their motivation to be advocates.
Overall, the event was a success and I am so glad to have been part of the planning process. I couldn’t have done it without my co-chair Kimberly Davis, the Scholars Program College Access Coordinator, and the committee: Elizabeth Metz, the Recruitment and Outreach Manager, Jim Coleman, NTP Site Coordinator, Lauren Ballinger, Scholars Program Instructor, and Ibsaa Adam, NTP Site Coordinator. Thank you to everyone who attended the event and all of the FLOC staff who helped us bring the event to life! We couldn’t have done it without all of you!
(Aurin Agramonte is the NTP Bilingual Program Coordinator)