Thursday, July 21, 2016

#7 FFL Board Meeting

      Yesterday was the Foundation for Letters Board meeting. The overall purpose was for the board of directors o meet and discuss the success of the Bronx Loaf writing workshop, and upcoming events. The upcoming events on the agenda included the FFL Sponsored BILA College Workshop, where FFL will get people together to help the students craft,edit and refine their college essays, and the publication of Bronx Loaf's anthology Breaking Bread. Meeting topics ranged from events and funding to future marketing directions and support for different programs. The meeting really highlighted the important work that FFL does. One example of this is that the organization was trying to help students in need pay for their college applications, and throwing a fundraising events for schools that they work with. Bronx Loaf was really a first hand account for me of how important their work is. Students with a passion for writing were able to come together and engage and the program's funding for Bronx Loaf made everything come into fruition.
    Just to close, the board meeting was interesting for me. In the future when it comes to business I see myself as a white collar worker so sitting in on a board meeting could very well be practice for the future! I'm glad to have gotten this internship because it helps me make use of  my area of skill which is online work and writing.
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# 6 IYLI Mexico Orientation Presentation

       This week my supervisor and I had to present a writing seminar for the IYLI fellows traveling to Mexico. Two groups from IYLI are studying abroad this summer, one to Senegal—which was discussed in a previous blog—and the other to Mexico. Basically the entire purpose of the seminar was to give students tips on writing for their journals and trying to engage them in the different types of writing such as informative, entertaining, or persuasion. This will help the students to decide on what tone they would like their journals to have. The tones may range from personal diary, to formal travel essay. I have a personal connection to this because I was able to publish my journal entries in Guernica Magazine ,which were written in the style of a formal travel essay.
      Later on in the mini-seminar we held, students were given a writing exercise, the prompt:What Was the Most Interesting Part of your Week? Reading these initial writing pieces from the students will help us at FFL to get an understanding of each student's writing ability and style. Over the course of the summer I will have to transcribe each journal entry so hopefully the handwriting isn't too difficult to read—note: I now have a greater appreciation now for teachers who have to grade standardized test essay papers—that should be fun!
    To conclude, the seminar went well and It's surreal to think I was one of the students traveling just last year.Displaying IMG_3008.JPGDisplaying IMG_3008.JPG
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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

#5 Bronx Loaf: The Week After

         Last week about this time I was helping haul sodas and eating utensils across a parking lot from Western Beef Supermarket over to the school where we worked! This week it's back to the office.
         Bronx Loaf went well. The entire week was filled with helping to get food and drinks, and helping clean up or set up workshop events. Moreover, the catering we planned for each day prior to Bronx Loaf went absolutely well. Each day the food tasted great and arrived on time. We ordered enough food and had a decent surplus of left overs after each lunch. Mon & Thu was Italian Food, Tue-Jamaican, Wed-Spanish, Friday Tacos & Guac with a BBQ later on, and Sat Pizza with dessert foods afterward. To say the least the students, staff, and myself ate well! Sat was a great too. Being that it was the final day of Bronx loaf the students and some staff  read each of their writing pieces aloud to everyone. It was amazing to hear the writing skill of the students, their work sounded like professional authors. It inspired me to work on my writing to try and improve it to be more smooth, refined and condense. All in all, Bronx Loaf went as good as it could have and it was a fun and active week overall.


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

#4 Bronx Loaf Day 2

Yesterday was the first day of the Bronx Loaf writing workshop. It's being held all week at the Bronx Academy of Letters in Mott Haven. The workshop is one of the many literacy based programs supported by FFL. The focus of this week is to help the students grow in their writing, and get their own original pieces published in Bronx Loaf's anthology, Breaking Bread.  Guests this week include literature teachers and authors. My work this week so far was centered around ordering and getting food, and helping to set up activities. I guess this week I've learned about helping to set up an event, as well as seeing pre-planning come into fruition. An example of this was ordering food. We had more than enough to serve all students, including staff, and non-program staff such as security guards.  All in all, Bronx Loaf is going smoothly and hopefully this trend extends all week.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

#3 IYLI Orientation Presentation

        Yesterday's out of office trip took us to the International Youth Leadership Institute (IYLI) in Harlem. IYLI is an organization targeted at Black and Latino Youth with the purpose of educating them about their history and heritage, and taking them abroad to nations within the African Diaspora on study abroad trips called Summer Heritage Programs (SHP).  During the SHPs the'll visit different education sites within the country such as non profit organizations, and NGOs, as well as museums and specific educational sites such as the Marine Corps, and the US Embassy. While abroad the students will complete several educational tasks such as mini-seminars, projects and surveys related to where they visited, or the country of their visit in general.

      The The overall purpose of the visit to IYLI was to get more students  to sign up for the travel abroad journaling  program sponsored by FFL. In the program students from IYLI will  journal their experiences while abroad then send all of their journal entries (each relating to a specific theme) via email to FFL.  After their entries are refined and polished into a cohesive whole, the students' work will be published in Guernica Magazine. The second purpose was to present a seminar to them hosted by an editor of Cosmo for Latina Magazine in which she (the editor) would detail to the students tips for writing abroad , as well as how to make writing more simple, enjoyable, and descriptive. We were able to get a majority of the students to sign up for the the writing abroad program,which was definitely a success on our part.
       The day as a whole helped me because I was a part of the process in that  I helped arrange power point slides for the presentation, in addition to trying to convince the students to sign up for the writing abroad program.
       All in all, we were able to get a lot done yesterday, and soon the students of IYLI will be leaving for their study abroad trips to Mexico and Senegal respectively. Last year I was a student of IYLI and I traveled to Morocco and Spain. The experience was definitely memorable but it also taught me a lot, such as going far away from home and coping in addition to completing almost college level work while away. In addition I was able to experience and learn a lot about a different country which gave me kind of a travel bug!
      To wrap up, the students will hopefully have an amazing experiences while away, and I trust that their journal entries will reflect that.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

#2 Prep for Bronx Loaf

Last Friday, my task was aiding in the preparation for the Bronx Loaf writing workshop that will be held next week. The workday revolved around calling potential caterers and finding out prices. My goal was to try to feed 75 people, on $370 per day for 6 days, with respect to any eating restrictions such as alergines and Kosher/Halal practices.  Each day would feature a different restaurant's food. The process helped me a lot. First and foremost because it was my first big job of the internship so far, and second because it put me right into the process of how to put an event of this magnitude together. It was good practice with speaking, and having a confident tone of voice when dealing with restaurant employees as well as practice with budgeting. To complete this task I created a table divided with categories such as restaurant, phone #, order status, price, and any notes regarding what the certain caterers would be able to offer us such as menu options. All in all it was a great work and learning experience for me, and I'm excited to see how the Bronx Loaf event will turn out (especially for the food)!

Thursday, June 30, 2016

#1 BILA College Workshop Meeting


       Today was the first out of office trip of my summer internship with the Foundation For Letters (FFL). Our traverse brought us to the Brooklyn Institute for Liberal Arts (BILA), one of many high schools on the Wingate Campus. It was cool for me to have today's location right in my own neighborhood.
       The purpose of today's meeting was for my two supervisors to meet with the board of BILA to discuss the organization of their FFL sponsored college workshop. The main takeaway from the meeting was that students at BILA were working on their college essays. A huge challenge with the college essay process is that, when a class of students writes essays it may take the teacher weeks to read each essay thoroughly and offer vivid feedback with a grade. However, with the college essay process, the entire grade is writing an essay, in addition to the fact that a college level essay must be A+ level quality for submission. The board agreed on a college preparedness workshop sponsored by FFL and Princeton University students coming to work with BILA students in the college prep and application process.
    This entire situation of college prep, application, and essay was right in the ballpark for me because I am going through this myself. Questions like where do I go for college? Do I go the private route or the SUNY/CUNY route? resonated with me. These issues faced the students at BILA as well. I think that today will help me because it definitely sent a message to me to get on top of the college prep process because next year is senior year. In addition,today has also given me prep for future out of office meetings and what may be discussed at those.