|City School is located in Upham's Corner with an
entrance off Hamlet Street, kind of quiet and well-hidden from the
hustle and bustle of the main drag. City School's SLP, Summer
Program, is one of the more challenging summer "jobs" that youth can
apply for, challenging enough that not everyone can graduate and become
a "graduate leader."
For example, last summer's program had 76
students and 66 completed the 6 1/2 week program including writing and
presenting a paper associated with the academic seminar.
What's most important is the quality of youth that do complete the SLP
and who go on to become leaders and shakers in their adult lives.
The testimonials that follow give you a flavor of the remarkable
opportunities for growth provided by this teen leadership development
- Roy Daley is in his first year with City School and he loves it.
- Samantha Casseus, in her third year, says it has "broadened her horizons."
- Gabriella Gilbert taught a leadership program in Haiti based on what she has learned from City School
Roy Daley, a junior at Brookline High, is in his first year at City
School. Last year he completed the SLP - Summer Leadership Program.
He now serves as a member of the youth organizing team, what they call
GLU - "Grad Leaders United." |
Members of GLU "come together during the school year and help organize
events every Wednesday. We host workshops and discussions around areas
of social justice or events in our community."
"Recently, during February vacation we, along with other youth
organizations, organized for the youth jobs rally that we do every
year. Right now we are in the middle of helping out Bird Street
prepare for the annual Youth Summit next month."
"I don't really know very much about the Youth Summit because this is
my first year. I believe it is a celebration that involves youth and
their talents." His job is to assist - to do "whatever they ask,
whatever they need me to do in order to help them prepare. Recently I
have been sending out the Youth Summit brochures to the press."
As far as his future is concerned, Roy has a plan. "I'm going to do a
two-year college program and then afterwards, depending on my progress,
go on to a four-year program. I don't know yet what college program to
do, but I do know that I'm going to do it."
And why not jump directly into a four-year program? "I don't want to
overwhelm myself by going to a four-year college and find out that it's
not right for me. I like the idea of easing myself into it by starting
out with a two-year program." Makes sense, doesn't it?
Do you come to City School to hang out with your friends? "No, I come here to work. I love it."
||Samantha Casseus is currently in the 12th grade and has been with City
School for three years. Why has she been involved for so long?
Because, she says, it is a great supplement to her education.
City School provides an "experience that we don't get in our regular
public school. It is a very comforting place where you can work and
meet with people out of your comfort zone and be able to talk about
social issues that you don't talk about at school."
"During my three years at City School, I have participated in three
All the seminars have social justice issues, and they all related in
their own way."
- The immigration seminar
homelessness and poverty seminar
- The health seminar
Would you recommend your friends that they get involved in
"Absolutely, yes. I'd tell them that it's just a good
place to meet new friends, learn how to be sociable and how to
communicate with other people."
|"Another important thing they taught us
was problem-solving skills - fixing situations and conflicts so that
everyone may be able to get along and work together."
Her experience at City School has had a greater influence on her choice
of career than her regular schooling has had. "City School broadened
my horizons. I feel that after this year when I
graduate I will be able to use the knowledge that I've learned through
the City School to go further and help in the world. I am now
interested in studying law."
|Gabriella Gilbert, in her third year at City
School, participated in a very special activity in the summer of 2010
where she was able to make use of all the skills she had learned at
City School in the prior year. But we'll get to that in a
In 2009 Gabriella completed the summer leadership program (SLP).
She elected the violence seminar and learned about gangs, gang leader
activities and the history of the formation of gangs. This helped
her gain an important perspective - how social paths can start out on a
positive note and be twisted by conflicting social forces.
"During the seminar we had a lot of videos and topics to talk
about. The seminar exposed us to different activities that are
going on now and why they might be going on. It showed me that there
can be a positive root to some evils. Like some things could've
started off good and then after a time different situations and events
eventually change it. "
Besides an academic seminar, the summer program includes a practicum, a
chance to work two days at an activity generally associated with your
seminar. In Gabriella's case, she got to work directly for City
School, helping to prepare their 'Summer Book.'
"So I had to take down information from people - what they liked, what
they didn't like, what were their favorite parts, what were the least
favorite parts." Her job was to bring things together "that would
create memories and to take pictures of people."
Did she prefer the seminar or her work on the Summer Book? "I
enjoyed the violence seminar. My whole SLP experience is what
pushed me to do what I did during the summer of 2010."
What did you do in the summer of 2010?
"For the summer of 2010, I went to Hache Haiti. See the shirt I
am wearing? I wore it every day at the summer camp. My
sister went to my mother's hometown, Hache Haiti. She started a
summer camp there, and she came back and told me all the great
things. I saw the pictures, I saw the videos. Especially
after the events of the earthquake, I really felt like this is the
summer I'm going to go down there to help out."
2010 the summer camp had "three different classes - two English
speech class and a writing class, a math class and my leadership
class. We served 72 students. I spoke Haitian Creole. Going
to Haiti and helping out in a camp was a highlight of my life."
You might be surprised to find out the Gabriella is not interested in
being a teacher, a social worker or a camp counselor. "I've
developed an interest in becoming an engineer. I feel that I can
use the skills I learn as an engineer to help people. I haven't
quite figured out how to do that. I feel that because I have
certain privileges that other people don't have, I want to share my
talent with less fortunate people."
What are Gabriella's privileges? Education, she says. She's
only 17 and a junior in high school. She has not completed her
high school education but she thinks of herself as privileged.
And who is she comparing herself against? "People who don't have
the opportunity to go to school. I want to use what ever I might
learn in college and use that to help people. I wouldn't mind
moving to Haiti if I have a plan about what I'm doing down in Haiti."
Gabriella highly recommends City School for anybody. "It has made
a big impact on my life. First off, City School is a very welcoming
environment. It welcomes all different types of people, different
ages, different cultural backgrounds and it accepts them for who they
are. No matter what you've been up to, the City School is ready to
take you in. They are also ready to educate you and teach
you. As long as you are open to learning, it will be an amazing
"I would definitely encourage people to come to the City School, see
what it has to offer and then figure out what they have to offer the
City School. It's a mutual relationship."