In the morning, Senior scholars participated in a wellness conversation led by youth advocate Havanna about all that went on during National Portfolio Day the prior week. The scholars got the opportunity to express their opinions on the schools they visited as well as areas they felt like they need or want to improve in after getting feedback from the schools they visited.
The seniors started their afternoon with a brief self meditation and wrote down things they were thankful for. Afterwards, they were treated with a full on work afternoon, working on things ranging from portfolio, scholarships, college essays, researching schools and their requirements, to finalizing financial aid information. They were using their time efficiently and were able to finish the day off completing at least one thing they wanted to work on today.
In the afternoon, Junior scholars were introduced to a few examples of how art and activism go hand in hand. They watched a video about guerrilla artists in Puerto Rico calling for independence, and analyzed the works of 3 contemporary artists using their work as a medium to bring about change.
The scholars reviewed their space agreements and brainstormed topics of social (in)justice that were of interest to them. These included: gun control, the relationship between the NYPD with the MTA as it relates to police brutality, LGBTQ+ rights in the workplace, reproductive rights, the climate crisis, etc. After thinking about and discussing these major topics, scholars were prompted to pick a topic to embark on the project of making a zine about it that they can build on in the future.
MENTOR FELLOWSHIP UPDATE
This week in the mentor fellowship, the mentors continued their discussion over a presentation topic for the NCORE conference. They collectively looked at the top two topics each group choose and decided the viability of it. The criteria for this was based on the NCORE conference guidelines which focuses on topics that are relevant to the conference and in higher-ed environments, brings new insights, facilitate constructive dialogue(s), and highlights a diversity of approaches to resolving any issues brought forth. The topics the mentors looked at covered a plethora of issues such as colorism, tensions of commuting, undocumented students amongst other things.
Over the discussion, the mentors were trying to find a common ground with issues relevant to them as students of color in this institution. They decided to focus on the issues associated with commuting students in higher-Ed, especially at private institutions. Often there is a lack of empathy and consideration taken for commuting students. The curriculum and amount of work places huge pressure on students to pull all-nighters amongst other unhealthy activities. In moving forward with this topic, the mentors will begin to write their proposal for the conference and possibly get approval!