On November 22nd, eight students from St. Stephen’s Youth Programs and St. Mary’s Ethiopian Congregation ventured out on the commuter rail to visit Wellesley College. The trip was part of a growing partnership between St. Stephen’s and Wellesley, which also includes SAT Prep, a program in which Wellesley students help prepare high school juniors at St. Stephen’s for the SAT exams. This fall, the partnership grew to include a program for seniors focused on college preparation. The high school students set up Common Applications, wrote college essays, and participated in SAT Prep classes.
The opportunity to visit Wellesley College allowed students at St. Stephen’s to see what a small liberal arts college looks like and ask the college students questions about their experiences and challenges. The visit included a tour led by college students and a panel of college students who answered questions. Helegenat, one of the students from St. Mary’s commented that her favorite part was “talking and listening to the Wellesley students, especially hearing the first generation student’s stories and advice. Also viewing the art room was something that struck my interest because it pertains to the type of art I’m working on right now.” After the panel, everyone went to the dining hall and stuffed themselves at the buffet. The next stop was the student center, where Wellesley generously provided $10 for every student at the gift shop. The students left the school fulfilled by a fun day exploring a new part of Massachusetts and learning about a different type of school.
St. Stephen’s is excited to continue the partnership with Wellesley in the spring by providing SAT Prep for Juniors. If you know anyone who may be interested in participating or if you want to learn more about how you can be involved in the College and Career program at St. Stephen’s, please reach out to Jeremy at Jeremy@ststephensbos.org.
The JCIT program works with younger high school students and exposes them to leadership opportunities. JCITs work with the students in B-READY’s elementary school program (LEARN), by assisting in enrichment courses, providing academic support, and mentoring the younger students. As part of the program, these high school students are introduced to the responsibilities they will have as teen staff (CIT’s), are exposed to colleges in the Boston area, and build relationships with students from Tufts University. All these activities are prepare the students to grow as young professionals. The students work at least 5 hours a week, and receive an internship stipend at the end of each trimester. In addition, the students are provided unique opportunities each Friday to visit colleges, participate in workshops, and meet with college mentors.
This year, Anna Rodriguez, an alum of the St. Stephens B-SAFE and B-READY programs, will be supervising the JCIT program. Anna, a sophomore at Tufts, is bringing with her a unique perspective around how to best navigate high school and the college application process. She has a vision to revamp the JCIT program during the school year and build a long lasting community among these leaders. When asked about her goals for the program, she said, “I will focus on providing them with mentorship and guidance throughout their high school careers and beyond. I hope for them to realize they have an entire community supporting them and my role will be to empower every one of them. I hope to expose them to the college application process, as well as how to network and become successful young professionals while helping them both socially and emotionally.”
This program is designed for 9th graders who are looking to grow as young leaders in their community. Designed as a bridge between St. Stephen’s YLC Program and the Counselor in Training Job Program, the JCIT program is a unique opportunity for students to grow personally, professionally and academically through being exposed to new experiences. If you have any questions about this program, you can reach out to Jeremy Kazanjian-Amory, the College and Career Program Coordinator, at Jeremy@ststephensbos.org.
By Teen Organizer Tahnaree Evans
Spending a Saturday afternoon at the Church of Saint Augustine and Saint Martin seemed perfect, due to the fact that Thanksgiving was coming up around the corner. The teen organizers were there to do community service in the Lenox neighborhood, where we have focused organizing efforts in Ramsay Park throughout the summer and fall. We helped Crosstown Church volunteers cook and serve a community Thanksgiving meal. Meeting people who I had never met before was fantastic. Also, just having the joy of being able to dance with my friends and to feel like part of a community was an amazing way to spend my Saturday afternoon. Not to mention, the food (especially the green beans), was delicious to eat and I enjoyed every moment of it.
In an interview prior to the event, Pedro talked about how proud he was to be a part of Boston’s Latino community; “I am Lynn, I am Jamaica Plain, I am Lawrence, I am Providence, I am Roxbury. The best moments of my career happened in Boston and I will always carry them in my heart,” he said.