GED Graduation Ceremony @ Urban Peak

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Several CBPYT members are placed with Urban Peak. Urban Peak is a center designed to help homeless youth. There, youth can receive all sorts of daily services including showers, meals and laundry, but also can get medical assistance, educational opportunities, help with job searches, assistance getting their GED and take classes on everything from Sex Education to Street Smarts. Image

Heres a shot of Helen and Dylan hanging out at Urban Peak!

Last Thursday one of their GED classes was holding a celebration to honor this year’s recent grads. I was invited to participate by taking photos of the grads and their families and helping them to set up and clean up.

I would up being at work from about 7am to 8pm that day. OMG LONG day! But, it was really nice to see how happy and proud the grads were, and also to see my friends at Urban Peak in action. Image

Danielle praising one of her grads on a job well done!

ImageAnd then there was yummy dinner provided! Win-win! Thats Mary serving up some pasta!

 

Everytime I visit the site of another CBPYT member I am in awe of the amount of hard work these guys put into their jobs, and so proud to be a part of something that is doing such great things for our communities.

 

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Samantha’s Event at Platte Forum

My awesome new friend Samantha is serving with an organization called Platte Forum. Shes a CBPYT member with AmeriCorps, like myself, but just placed at a different community resource. Her students, from what I understsand, work with local artists to express themselves in various artistic ways. The program gives kids some positive role models, a great way to promote positive expression, and a place to go with people who care about them where they feel safe and cared about. They had an Art Show, gallery style opening last eveing. It was a really cool, gala event, where the kids could be proud of their work and the artist could showcase some of their work as well.  I went with a bunch of friends to stop in to support Sam’s hard work, and also so I could snap a few photos. Also there was snacks. I love snacks. Here’s a quick peek at whats going on at Platte Forum. Nice work Samantha!

I miss NY Autumn….

We have had some crazy weather in the last 7 days.  One week ago, tuesday, I was sitting in my bikini on my balcony soaking up some vitamin D. Then, on Friday morning I had to scrape ice and three inches of snow off the truck before going into the city for team Friday. Yesterday was beautiful and warm with sunshine and happiness….today is gloomy and cloudy with a side of cranky. Strange Colorado weather!

Here’s the layer of snow I woke up to just 3 days later.

Rubbing Elbows

Wow. Yesterday I met some of the most interesting people. I attended a confrence of Denver school counselors and had the privledge to sit in on some panel discussions with the dean of admissions at Brown university, the director of recruitment at Cambridge and also Stanford, I had lunch with an admissions coordinator and associate director of recruitment at Cornell…. There were people from NYU and Yale, Georgetown and American, Why couldn’t I know these folks when I was applying to college? The gal from Stanford spent  a long while talking to me about the value of getting my Phd…. hmmmm….wouldn’t that be a fun adventure next?

We worked all day on learning what things these elite schools look for in an applicant, and what makes an application get pushed through to the next level towards acceptance and what makes an application get denyed. We discussed financial aid tricks and went over why Denver students dont usually leave Denver area universities to explore the rest of the country. It was incredibly informative, really great connections to make (I dropped a good word in with the big wigs at those schools little brother!) and I really enjoyed myself.

Later yesterday evening, there was a college fair that some of my students attended and I wandered around with them to talk to the college representitives. They are really looking to boost their multicultural enrollment, so many of my students are prime canidates.

Because the debates were here yesterday, traffic was TERRIBLE and it took me forever to get home. They shut down all the major highways through the city and I got desperately lost. I had been feeling so proud of myself too because I made it all the way to the office yesterday without using my GPS. Ah well. Someday I will figure this out.

I put in 12 hours yesterday, whew! It was a long one, but we had beautiful 80 degree weather and the sun was out all day. It doesnt get much better…..tomorrow we’re looking at SNOW in the forecast. Crazy weather here in Colorado.

I’m feeling so blessed and fortunate to have this opportunity to make a difference to so many kids.

Tomorrow is an AmeriCorps team day and we are together all day for training, etc….but also FOOD we’re bringing a Potluck lunch. I love the sense of community we already have after only knowing eachother for a few short weeks.

Life is good.

This is gonna be good…

I have had some absolutely beautiful moments here so far. I can’t get enough of looking at those mountains in the distance. Everytime, without fail, that I see them my brain says: “Wow”. I hope that still happens months from now.

In other news I had a perfectly relaxing weekend involving dinner with friends, long lazy days, meeting adorable babies, and ordering Chinese take-out. Life is good.

Work this week is shaping up to be pretty hectic, in amongst their efforts to train me, the head of their company, the CEO and founder of College Summit is making a trip to Denver and we have a week packed with meetings, important lunches and business pitches to seek funding from local companies. My supervisors have me busy with trying to show how our curriculum directly impacts students who frequent area businesses and what having more highly educated people in the area would mean to said businesses. Also, I’m the only one in the office who knows how to use the photo and video editing software so I have been making flyers, interactive maps, and video compiliations to further promote the company. I really like this work, and I feel like it is something I could be really good at….but I prefer to be in schools hanging out with the kids.

I’m in a happy place right now, literally and mentally.

 

Check out the weather forecast for this week: Does it get better?Image