On Friday May 29th, FLOC held its annual recognition event at the Woman’s National Democratic Club to celebrate all the amazing work our students, families, volunteers, and staff accomplished throughout the year. 11th grade Scholars Ghelatia and Johanna emceed, and FLOC staff gave out special awards to students and volunteers in four different categories: Visionary, Unity, Champion, and Empower.
The Visionary Award celebrates students and volunteers who have a specific goal, a vision for the future, and have identified paths toward that objective.
The Unity Award celebrates the people at FLOC who demonstrate exceptional relationship building or mentoring skills.
NTP Student: Valerie Scholars Student: Jenny Volunteer:Judith Blagrove Student and Tutor Pair: Delchristoff and Jason Aiken.
The Champion Award recognizes students and volunteers who are dedicated and committed to their program.
NTP Student: Wesley Scholars Student: Joel Volunteers: Bridgette and EJ Palmer
The Empower awards are given to people who embody all of FLOC’s values. They go above and beyond in whatever their role is.
Partner: Acumen Solutions Staff: Kimberly Davis Family: The Ortiz Family NTP Student and Scholars Student: A’Tyra NTP Student and Scholars Student: Maura Volunteer: Elese Sizemore
FLOC also recognized our 8th graders in Scholars and tutoring for an exciting time in their lives. They are all halfway toward completing their postsecondary degrees! To celebrate FLOC put together some High School Survival Kits. The kits included a FLOC notebook, a FLOC water bottle, a folder they could take on college tours, pens, pencils, and candy.
The night ended with time for chatting, eating food, playing games, and taking pictures at the FLOC photo booth. FLOC is excited to see what our students, families, and volunteers will accomplish in the future!
During Spring Break, the 11th Grade Scholars set out on an extensive college tour through Virginia and North Carolina. Visiting 10 schools in total, the students gained exposure to many different kinds of college and universities. They visited the urban campus of Virginia Commonwealth University, the closed campus of the University of Richmond, the historically black Virginia State University, and the large, bustling campuses of North Carolina State University and Virginia Tech. They met up with current Postsecondary Scholars at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and Radford University, who were able to give the 11th Grade Scholars a first-hand look into the college experience following life in DC.
The tour also took students through the campuses of Greensboro College, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Duke University. The Scholars enjoyed seeing college campuses in action—students studying, rushing to class, playing in the quad, and eating in the cafeteria. They were able to take a peek inside dorm rooms, libraries, study halls, and classrooms. They were able to walk through the different campuses, getting a sense of what size student body felt most comfortable to them.
They were able to enjoy lunches and dinners in conversation with current students, learning more about the available student organizations and quality of food!
And perhaps the dinner they most enjoyed was when we surprised Joe, FLOC’s Postsecondary Program Coordinator, with a birthday celebration he won’t soon forget! We only hope he was able to wash that whipped cream off his face . . .
(Ian McPherson is a program instructor with the Scholars Program.)
Preparing for the SAT exam is a daunting process for many students. It requires a lot of practice and focused attention. This year the Scholars Program is excited to pilot a new SAT prep model that provides our 11th grade students with targeted reading and math instruction.
With the help of our partner organization, Prep Matters, we were able to train six volunteers to tutor small groups of students for twelve weeks. As opposed to past years where students received both reading and math prep in one night, this year students will work on one subject for six weeks and then rotate, to ensure quality instruction of each subject. And with the expanded number of volunteers working in SAT prep, students are able to work in smaller groups and receive more personalized instruction.
Although still in its first few weeks, student have mastered new concepts such as sentence completion and number theory as a result of our volunteer SAT Coaches and this new, more individualized attention. We look forward to seeing continued growth as the weeks continue!
(Kimberly Davis is the College Access Coordinator for the FLOC Scholars Program.)
In the beginning of a new year people often make resolutions. Many want to improve their lives as well as the life of others. Engaging in volunteer work is perhaps the best way to do this. Here are 14 reasons why volunteering at For Love of Children (FLOC) should be one of your resolutions for this new year.
14. Give back to the community
When we volunteer in our community we feel the satisfaction of making a difference by helping those in need. It is a good way to support your own community and see the results at first-hand. Many of our volunteers have highlighted this as their main reason to volunteer at FLOC.
13. Work with kids
If you enjoy spending time with kids and youth this is a great opportunity for you. Volunteering at FLOC is a great way to be in a fun and cheerful environment.
12. Grow professionally
Volunteering provides the opportunity to explore new career paths and gain experience in a different field. Many people have discovered their passion while doing volunteer work. A recent report by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) shows that “unemployed individuals who volunteer are 27% more likely to find work than non-volunteers.”
11. Meet new people
Whether you just moved to DC and want to expand your network or you already live in the area and want to improve your social skills, volunteering can help you to make new connections and strengthen your ties to the community.
10. Learn about yourself
When we volunteer we are often exposed to a different environment and we face new challenges. This can help us to learn more about ourselves and discover hidden skills and talents that can be transferred to your personal and professional life.
9. Learn about the community
Providing direct service can help you gain a better understanding of the community that you are serving; including their needs, strengths, limitations and resources.
8. Stay healthy
A report published on 2007 by the CNCS showed that “volunteers are more likely to experience positive health benefits. In fact, serving others may increase longevity, lead to greater functional ability later in life, and strengthen one’s resilience when dealing with health problems.”
7. Increase your self-confidence
Serving others can help boost your sense of accomplishment. When we feel that we are making a difference we feel better about ourselves and the community that we are serving.
6. Help us serve more students
When you volunteer at FLOC, you allow one more student to have the opportunity to improve their reading and math and have the necessary skills to excel in their academic, professional and personal life.
5. Save resources
Your help is needed and valuable. According to a study by the Independent Sector, the estimated value of a volunteer hour in DC is $34.04.
4. Inspire others
Volunteering allows you to inspire others by sharing your knowledge and passion. Whether you love to read or enjoy math you will have a chance to make a positive and lasting impact in the lives of our students.
3. Invest in the future success of the students
One-on-one tutoring is an efficient way for students to improve their competency. On average, only 22 hours of tutoring are needed for students to improve one year in competency.
2. Escape from the routine
Engaging in volunteer work can provide a positive and fun way to escape from the everyday routine. A recent study by the UnitedHealth Group and the Optum Institute revealed that volunteering helps people to manage and lower their stress levels.
1. Find purpose
When we help others we also help ourselves. Dedicating a few hours from our time can make a big difference and help us identify our purpose. This can increase our sense of well-being and bring joy to our lives.
Participating in volunteer work allows you to put into practice your unique skills, ideas and experiences while gaining new perspective and helping others. It certainly benefits you as well as the community that you are serving.
This year the Scholars program is implementing a new advising model to ensure that all students are prepared for middle school, high school, college and beyond. Students meet with an advisor four times a year and submit their transcript and quarterly grades to inform these conversations.
As a Scholars Advisor, I have had several inspiring experiences speaking with the wonderful students during advising sessions. One specific experience was with an 11th grade high school student. While we were talking and looking at her transcript, I started to realize that this student was not aware of her true academic potential and of all the wonderful opportunities college would allow her.
I spoke with her about several options that she could pursue based on her well-rounded academic, extracurricular, and community service experiences. She never knew that there were actually college degrees that would enable her to focus dually on her love for English literature and language as well as her fascination with business.
When I brought up the idea of a business and liberal arts degree program possibility, her face lit up. The prospect of college became doubly as exciting for her. We talked about how college would enable her to study whatever she wanted, while also allowing her to continue with her love for dance and cheerleading. At the end of our meeting, I realized how important FLOC can be in the process of students identifying and unlocking their full potential.
(Tami Burger is a Scholars Social Work Intern at FLOC).