Hello PROMiSE interns!

The summer camps are done! Despite my calm, collected look, I’m sad because I made a lot of good friends this past summer. I met students from all over the age range 7-18; a lot of them were funny and cool kids to get to know. I’m glad that they get to experience these camps at the age they are. This camp has been going on for the past 10 summers, yet I became aware of them this past year when I was simply a volunteer for a Counselor’s Training. As a senior in high school I became aware of the 4-H program; however I knew nothing about what exactly it was. After these past weeks and seeing what my mentor Mario MagaƱa has done with camps, it comes down to two words: Youth Development. The 4-H program is not only about agriculture like many believe. What Mario has done with camps is created a program where kids, especially minorities, can develop social skills, work, and play together. Most importantly, however, this camp provided a setting where students learned about the opportunities that await them in high school and college while they have fun. On the final day the campers do not want to leave! And the group of campers gets older with each camp, the workshops are tailored to make sure they know what they should be doing to best prepare for their future. No other program that I know of has produced 5 Gates Millenium Scholars in the past 6 years. Before they graduate high school, students who have gone through this program will know how to lead a group of younger kids. They will know how to apply for FAFSA. They will know what the most prestigious scholarships look for and these camps give them the confidence to apply to them.

The camps being done doesn’t equate to our work being done. Payments and paperwork still need to be collected, handled, and sorted. And future counselors get to attend trainings later on this year. Therefore Luis and I are making sure that interested students are in the contacts list and that future workers in the office can pick up easily where we left off.

The experience doesn’t necessarily end next week for me. I plan to continue to participate throughout the year and next summer as well, to help the program that helps so many students.


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