GIL Interns Fall 2009! Each year 12-13 Gordon in Lynn interns engage in an intensive leadership development opportunity where they are placed at community partners and oversee a team of students who come in each week for guided service-learning experiences.
Each week, a SALTeam (serve and learn team) goes into the KIPP charter school to help lead Adult ESL classes on Thursday's. Here, the team takes time to create lesson plans.
Every year, Dorothy Boorse helps to organize an outdoor environmental education day when Lynn youth come to Gordon College along with volunteers from Gordon and GE. Here they are studying what's in the pond water.
Science Buddies - getting ready to retrieve some Coy Pond water to study.
Gordon students who tutor Lynn youth through our College Bound program invited the kids to trick or treat in Gordon's residence halls!
More trick or treating with College Bound!
The fifth-graders from Harrington Elementary School in Lynn come up to Gordon every year for a one-day college awareness visit. Here, music students from Gordon lead the youth through a workshop.
Gordon music professor Sandy Doneski leads the Harrington fifth graders through a vocal exercise during their En Camino visit to Gordon.
A College Bound tutor works with some young girls using homemade playdough! Children from Pre-K to second grade come two afternoons a week to our space in Curwin Circle, a subsidized housing community, for tutoring and mentoring.
College Bound Kids and SALTeam celebrating the end of a semester.
Former College Bound Interns Amy Aupperle and Lauren Baker.
Painting Tshirts at the Curwin Circle spring party.
Former intern Jon Nystedt (our 09-10 American VISTA) and a Curwin Circle friend.
Treats of the spring party!
Student artwork on the walls of Curwin Circle.
Former GIL Intern Liz Ronca and Curwin friend.
Playing basketball on the courts.
Joining the fun!
In April 2008, La Vida Youth Enrichment Service was able to come to Gordon to spend a day on the high ropes course. Although La Vida YES had been to the ropes course a few years previously and had come to Gordon last year to use the rock wall, it was many of the kids' first time.
Gordon students donated meal points so the entire La Vida YES group was able to eat in the cafeteria for free. Although we could have asked the kids to bring a brown bag lunch, it was much more fun to share a part of what Gordon students do daily. It was also a fun time for everyone to relax and mingle with the other groups since we had split up for the morning into three small groups.
This picture is of me, Claire Kinnen, with one of the La Vida Scholars (an intensive tutoring and mentoring initiative at LaVida YES) and my friend Andres, a high school student I have known since the very first few weeks I started at La Vida YES. Erick, a high school senior who volunteers with the program is behind us making bunny ears. The boys were waiting for the others to finish putting on their harnesses so we passed the time taking silly pictures.
Gordon has been a time of intense growth for me and it is often easy to feel as though my world is constantly shifting. La Vida YES has provided me with a consistency that I crave. Even if I am swamped with papers to write or books to read, I look forward to my afternoons in Lynn. The connections made and friendships built have been more meaningful to me than I can begin to describe.
This is a picture of Christian, Crystal, Arlete, and Janet Young. Because La Vida YES is a specifically Hispanic organization, it is often assumed that most Gordon students who volunteer are Spanish majors. Although many members of our team are majoring in Spanish, speaking the language is not a prerequisite. Almost all of the kids at La Vida YES are bilingual. Janet is a double major in history and Bible. She became involved this year as a site coordinator because she wanted to experience a culture different from her own: "La Vida YES was a great way for me to feel connected with other parts of the world, while only having to drive a half hour from Gordon."
For Janet the best part of the day was seeing the kids on the high ropes: "You could see how brave they all were--how eager they were as they climbed up to walk across tightropes and narrow wooden beams. You could see how much they supported each other as they offered encouraging cheers to one another and also helped the ground crew. It was evident how much the kids were determined in their efforts, and it was also evident how much they loved being there. "
After we spent the morning doing team building exercises, it was time to hit the ropes!
The Outdoor Education Staff had asked me as the Gordon in Lynn intern what some of my goals for the day were. I didn't have any specific ideas. I really wanted to see the kids work together and be stretched beyond their comfort zones, but I also wanted them to enjoy themselves. The small group exercises on the low ropes course tested our teamwork skills and patience while the high ropes course gave each a personal opportunity to extend the limits of our courage and all a chance to encourage on another.
After a morning of team building in small groups and lunch in the Lane Student Center, everyone was anxious to harness up and start climbing!
This is a picture of Katie Tong, the new intern for La Vida YES, with one of the middle school students, Priscilla. Katie is a social work student from New Hampshire. She became involved because of the Christianity, Character, and Culture seminar that all incoming freshman are required to take. She was also able to fulfill a requirement for her Intro to Social Work class. Katie has invested a good deal of her energy by applying what she is learning at Gordon to the program by helping to teach various classes along with the staff at the program.
Katie appreciated the ropes course day because it she felt it "enabled me to talk to many of the kids--at the very least, I was able to learn a lot more names! I think my favorite part, though, was seeing the kids come together and work as a team, overcoming obstacles and challenges one step at a time. It was a truly unique experience for everyone."
One of the boys returning to solid ground--I had been nervous that the precarious New England weather would not turn out conditions in our favor; however, I had no need to worry. It was a perfect spring day.
Two of the students meet in the trees at the end of two different challenges. It was inspiring to hear everyone yelling up encouragement to the brave souls above. I was always happily surprised when I heard my name being called to look at whoever had made the high climb or crossed the long balance beam. I was also pleased when more timid students were coaxed up and then exhilarated once they had accomplished a challenge.
Coordinating an event like this one for forty kids is no small task, but I was amazed at how willing everyone was to make the day go as smoothly as possible. All the details came together from Gordon in Lynn to La Vida YES and then the Outdoor Education department. More importantly, we came together as a group for something much more than just a fun day or an interesting challenge but for an experience that none of us would ever forget.