- Shauna Swindell
- Roxbury, MA
What brought you to YPP? I started YPP as a summer job in 2012 through the Mayor’s Summer Youth Employment Program (MSYEP). I was randomly assigned to work for the program knowing little. Therefore, I did not know what the job actually entailed.
What have you learned from YPP? Through YPP, I learned that although I live in Cambridge, where students are given a great education in terms of resources provide, there are many students in my community that do not receive an impactful education as some of their peers may have received. This can be due to a multitude of variables, such as low confidence in the content being taught or even that they have different learning styles. As a result of this, students are not able to comprehend information they are being taught. Due to this experience, I learned that it is important to help think creatively for theses students to be able to be confident in themselves regarding math. This can be done bui using fun manipulatives or games that involve physical and mental interactions that are both exciting and filled with content to be given to the students. Therefore, they can see that math can be fun if they turn it to a game and remember the lessons we taught them in their school work to succeed in school.
What could you do now that you haven’t done before? Growing up, I had very low confidence in myself in regards to being a leader. However, due to my involvement in YPP I am now able to facilitate efficient and effective activities. Additionally, I can now innovatively create fun outreach activities that allow me to not only push myself out of my comfort zone but the students also. Therefore, they can learn how to build up their confidence just as YPP has done for me.
What are some marketable skills you’ve been taught and how have you applied them in school and work? A marketable skill I have acquired through my experience in YPP is the development of my communication skills. I never knew the impact of a simple conversation until I started attending workshops. The workshops consisted of mlw’s and cmlw’s, such as myself, to teach professionals in education activities that YPP does. During these times, I was able to speak to teachers that were almost enlightened by the type of work we do and shaped how they wanted to teach in their classroom. Some even wanted YPP to be a resource in their schools. All of these great wants for the teachers to want to see your work done in their school only happened because mlws, like me, were able to communicate and tell how YPP really does make a huge difference in students lives regarding math and giving them role models they feel comfortable coming to. In terms of school I am now confident in my communications skills to have meaningful discussions with my peers and be an active learner in the classroom that is not afraid to voice my opinions on a topic being taught in class.