Prosser High Ambassador's Elections and College Night 2015

As we move along the school year, Prosser High and WSU GEAR UP have had some exciting events take place in November. From student led conferences to college night, the students have been busy the last few weeks before thanksgiving break. The GEAR UP staff has been right there with the students, encouraging them to participate in the school events.

To begin with, in the 2nd week of November PHS held its annual student led conferences. Some of our tutors were able to translate for the Spanish speaking parents ensuring that the student were informing his/her parents of grades and any teacher comments. Our Graduation Success Specialist had a change to interact with the students to discuss their grades and 13 year plan. Parents were able to meet our GEAR UP staff and set up tutoring for their daughter/son. Overall, PHS had a great outcome in the student led conferences.

It was Election Day on Nov. 18th for our Ambassador program. The previous officers were recognized, and given a certificate of recognition. For this year the students were able to run for President, Vice-President, Event Planner, and Promoter. As President, the student must attend all the meetings/ events, report back to the other ambassadors about upcoming events, and interact with other students. As Vice-President, the student in this position must be able to perform all the duties as the president in case of his/her absence. An Event Planner's duties are to plan any upcoming events. For example, if one of the students had an upcoming birthday, the event planner is in charge of coordinating something special for the student. The Promoter will be in charge of promoting GEAR UP by creating flyers for any upcoming events. They will work with GEAR UP staff to promote any upcoming events

The students running for these positions were able to script a speech and share to fellow students on why they would be the best candidate for the position. After the candidates presented their speech the students were able vote for the officers. Our GEAR UP staff counted the votes and new officers were appointed. The officers are as follow: President: Edith Raya, Vice-President: Gabriel Orozco, Event Planner: Maria Zaragoza, and Promoter: Aaron Gutierrez. Congratulations to these kids who did an extraordinary on their speeches!

Another event that GEAR UP participated in was Family College Night. Prosser High School hosted its annual Family College Night, where different college reps in our nearby area come for one night and give out information about their admission process. This event is opened to the community so there was a good amount of community members who attended.

Starting the School right at Prosser High

Starting the school year the right way. Students returned to school Sept 1. A few students have decided to join school clubs and be more involved over all. 33 junior and sophomores students had the opportunity to go with GEAR UP to the University of Washington on September 4. The bus departed from Prosser at 4:30 am. The first stop was in Ellensburg were students ate breakfast, then once done we left towards Seattle. Once arriving to UW our tour guide was already expecting us. Students and staff took a tour of the campus. Students were also exposed to basic buildings in where they can get help if need. Once the tour was complete were went into one of the building to get an Admission, financial Aid and a CAMP presentation. Students were asking questions and all departments were answering them.  A few of our students are determine in attending UW once they graduate. Students either want to go in the medical field, or into the engineering, science field. Once all the presentations were done we decided to have lunch, what better way for our students to get that college experience and that is by eating in one of the dining areas in the HUB with other college students. In doing this decision staff talked to students that once they attend a university they will most likely be eating in one of these areas and should get a feeling of how it looks and feels to be in one. Once students were done eating lunch we decide to take them to the students store just in case they wanted  to purchase anything to take home, after we were finishes looking in the student store, we decide to take  the students to the game room for a bit.  A few students were interacting with college students and asking them questions on the college life and how it feels to live in dorms. But overall the students enjoyed this experience.

Now that the year has started GSS Ms. Rivera has been connecting with students and making sure all new cohort students know of the program and that were are here to help them. She has also been checking in with students that did APEX this summer and students in general. Her main focus it to have all her students graduate and get a higher education from a university to a technical school. Now time to knock this year right.            

Prosser High GEAR UP mentor summer experience

Miss Felicijan greeting the PresidentNot only was it a busy summer with our cohort students retrieving credits that were lost during the school year, but It was also busy for our GEAR UP mentor Joslyn Felicijan. Joslyn has been a GEAR UP mentor for two years now and has been working with our cohort students in academics and guiding them to do well in school. This summer she received an opportunity of a life time.

Joslyn Felicijan, a senior at PHS attended Girls State in June at Central University. After three days of speeches and open forum questions she was elected to be American Legion Auxiliary US Senator for Washington State and attend Girls State. She also got to represent WA State at Girls Nation in Washington DC in July.  Prosser has not had a young lady attend Girl’s Nation in 26 years.

Mr. Kintner a cohort Social Studies teacher from Prosser High School is the liaison for the Evergreen Girls State organization. Joslyn was one of three girls selected from Prosser High School by American Legion Chairmen Glenda Schmidt, President Bev Hood, and President Bill Owens. There was an interview process and an essay to write on Why Girls State Would be Beneficial. Joslyn attended Girls State at Central Washington University the week of June 14-June 20. Evergreen Girls State focuses on city, county, and state government. During the week there were opportunities to participate in the legislative, executive or judicial branch of government, learning how to pass bills and the process of making laws.  There were inspirational speakers from various occupations and an opportunity to meet 175 ambitious young women representing high schools from the State of Washington. After three days of speeches and open forum interview questions, Joslyn was voted in by her peers as the American Legion Auxiliary Evergreen Girls State US Senator, to represent WA State at Girls Nation in Washington DC July 25-August 1.

Joslyn was also selected as Supreme Court Judge for Girls Nation 2015. Some of Joslyn’s highlights at ALA Girls Nation were visiting the White House east wing and meeting President Barack Obama.

ALA Girls Nation has provided aspiring young women leader’s firsthand experience with practical insight into how the federal government works. Two participants per state, known as “senators,” are chosen to represent their respective Girls State programs.

A week is spent creating a mock legislature, submitting bills and resolutions, participating in senate sessions, holding a national convention, and electing officials such as president and vice president. Special field trips include visits to the White House, Arlington National Cemetery, monument tours, and a day on Capitol Hill meeting with state senators and representatives. While the event may happen once in a lifetime, the memories made last forever.

When interviewing Joslyn she stated, “I never thought that I would be selected to even attend Girl's State, but I tried and achieved it.  I decided at Girl's State to run for WA State US Senator, and I was selected!  I was even shocked myself that I was being supported by 176 girls that were strangers and they selected me because I don’t get this much support from most of my classmates.  This experience has boosted my confidence and inspired me to believe in myself and that hard work and dedication pays off.” She is ready to start off the year right and make a positive impact on our GEAR UP student’s life’s.

Prosser High Summer Fun

A few Prosser High School students are not getting any days off from school. This year GEAR UP is offering an Open Lab for Cohort students that are doing APEX this summer and don’t have access to a computer or Internet at home. APEX is a program that helps students retrieve a credit that was lost during the academic school year. Classes that students are taking include Biology, Math, and English. Ms. Fuentes has been assisting students with any questions they may have and Ms. Rivera has been meeting with APEX students on their progress in their classes. She’s also been meeting with parents and updating on students’ progress, discussing the high school and beyond plan, and assisting overall in the APEX summer Program.

Although summer is in full effect and some students are enrolled in APEX, there are a few students that went to volunteer at the Migrant Pre K-5 summer school. Six GEAR UP/ Cohort students, which included Jonathan Delgado, Andrea Martinez, Paola Ixta, Brenda Ixta, JiaMin Chen, and Diandre Murillo. They would be there at 8 in the morning and would leave once school was out. All the teachers talked highly of them when I went over to see how they were doing. Teachers talked about how they were all self- starters and didn’t have any problems with asking them to stay on task. Overall, teachers were very pleased with each and everyone’s contribution this summer.  Only three out of the six students are actually returning volunteers. When I asked Paola, Brenda, and JiaMin why they came back again this year, they said that they loved it and that’s why they decided to come back. Helping out in classrooms and connecting with younger students is great and knowing they are giving back somehow by being here. I couldn’t be any more proud of these three young ladies and the rest of the students that volunteered this summer. Now that summer school is over they can officially enjoy their summer vacation.

Lastly, GEAR UP took 20 students to the 4-H Teen Leadership Conference on June 28-30 in Pullman. We left Prosser High at 9:30 am. A few students were returning for the second time to this conference as for the rest, this was their first time there. Once we arrived to WSU, students had to check in to get their keys to their dorm room, once students were done with registration they all left to their assigned rooms. Once they were done we left to do a Campus tour and then left to the student Recreation Center. A few of the students went swimming while others played indoor soccer. Once 5 pm came around we all gathered to have dinner with the rest of the schools that came to the Teen Conference from all over Washington State. Students were interacting with other students, some students actually reunited with a few students that came the year before. Students then had a chance to hear Guest Speaker Carlos Ojeda Jr. He gave a wonderful presentation and our students were engaged as well.  On Monday our students had a busy day, a few woke up early to do early exercises and their first workshop started at 7:45. A few of the workshops included Grilling and Chilling, What’s my type, Exploring Health Careers, Basic Fitness, the dental Professions, the characters of conflicts, teamwork for success, Unmasking the Ninja, power of youth, and many other workshops. Once students were done with workshops they went back to the dorms to get ready for the formal dinner. The students enjoyed it very much and dressed up very well. Once dinner was done there were activities for students do to and or go and listen to a guest speaker about texting and driving. Once it was over everyone went back to the dorms. Tuesday was more of a career and education fair and a financial literacy workshop day. Once students were done, we headed out to Terrill field to listen to guest speaker Carlos Ojeda Jr close this year’s 4-H Conference. Overall what the students liked the most from this conference was the Guest speaker Carlos Ojeda Jr,
meeting new students from different schools and that they felt that this conference brought them closer together.  

Sun’s Out Books Out

June was one of the quieter months at Prosser High with the kids being gone for the summer but the GEAR UP staff at PHS has been busy working on the upcoming school year.

During the last week of school students were busy finishing up any final work that was permitted by their teachers in order for them to get their grades up. Freshman cohort students were particularly eager to pass all of their classes especially math. Our tutors were kept extra busy during this time answering any questions that students had and refreshing their memory about past chapters and concepts.

Summer credit retrieval through the APEX program began on June 9th. Out of the 150 students enrolled in APEX, about half are cohort students. This summer, GEAR UP has offered to help out with this program by providing an open lab for students to come in and use the computers to complete their work and get help from our tutor if they need it. We have made this resource available for students because sometimes they don’t have access to a computer at home and we want to ensure that they are able to use this resource to their advantage.

Coming up at the end of the month is the 4-H Leadership Conference held at WSU Pullman.  This year will be our second year taking cohort students and they are very eager to attend. For many of the students going, this will be their second time and they have not stopped talking about it throughout the whole school year. GEAR UP looks forward to this trip and is eager to hear about the students’ experiences.

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