Methma is a Volunteer Representative for Swearer Tutoring and Enrichment in Math and Sciences (STEMS). As a VR, Methma helps plan weekly meetings for the tutors, which are intended to provide Brown tutors with tools to work more effectively, through tutoring skills, knowledge of current education policy, discussions on the role of a tutor in a classroom, or information about the Providence Public School system. She is currently tutoring in a physics class.
An Exercise In Flexibility
Sophie McKibben '15 is an Impact Providence intern this summer working for Dorcas International Institute RI as the co-director of the Brown Refugee Youth Tutoring and Enrichment (BRYTE) Summer Camp. A story on BRYTE Camp was recently featured in Brown News.
Running BRYTE Summer Camp, a six-week program in South Providence for 55 newly arrived refugee youth between the ages of 7 and 14, has been a whirlwind of new experiences for me. Though I chose Brown because it was the only school where I wouldn’t have a maths requirement, I have some how become fundraiser, budget manager and accountant. I’m camp Nurse, drive daily (I got my license in May), dance willingly and in front of many people during morning meeting, give time-outs, and clean endless spills of milk or juice or raisins. Each day is an exercise in flexibility—and a “fake it until you make it” type of outlook.
Camp is almost over—we end on August 9—and though I’m kicking myself for just in the last few days figuring out the right way to do many things, I’m so proud of the work that people around me have done—so excited about newfound confidence and friendships among the campers, so proud of the ones who came in speaking no English at all and now are willing to, in front of everyone, give it a shot, so inspired by the amount of work our staff does in any given day—and still manages to come back the next day with a huge smile on their faces. No part of my day, I realized as I wrote it out, would be possible without the guidance, friendship and tireless work of Sabine Adrian, Brown Class of 2013 and a founder of BRYTE Summer Camp, who co-directs camp with me, or the 23 Brown students, teenagers in the refugee community, and volunteers who work at camp each day.
My days are sometimes endless and always chaotic, but no matter how difficult a particular campers behavior there are always little moments that make it worth it. Not every day is a success, and I often wonder about my role in this special community and how best to “Impact Providence” or at least this small window of Providence with which I have begun to feel familiar. In the chaos that is the last few days of camp—the playground fights, final show rehearsals, packing up and tearful goodbyes of the older campers who won’t be able to attend camp next summer or the little ones to whom a whole year is an unfathomably long amount of time—it is impossible to really evaluate camp and it’s impact well or with any sort of distance.
Today, we took all the campers to a beautiful blueberry farm in Johnston, RI, which is a change of space from the South Providence Elementary School where camp is held each day. Instead of concrete playgrounds and hallways in which you have to be silent, the farm felt free and relaxed. Lying underneath some blueberry bushes, chatting with some of the older girls, I realized how much a part of my life they had become—how important they were to me, and how grateful I was that I had gotten to spend the summer with them.
June 20, 2016
June 13, 2016"I think about opening my mouth to call out goodbye, or to salute her in a traditional sign language farewell. Instead, I stand silently and smile."
Sally Hosokawa is a Community Fellow for Writers’ Group, a Swearer Center Community Program that facilitates creative writing workshops for adults with developmental disabilities. She studies literary translation in the Comparative Literature Department.
May 14, 2016“Club teachers understand us,” she says. “Even though they’re older, they’re not that much older, and so they’re like us and we can identify with them and talk to them about our problems.”
Addy is a volunteer with the Brown Elementary Afterschool Mentoring Program (BEAM), a Swearer Center community partnership that facilitates after-school programing activities and mentorship between Brown volunteers and students at William D’Abate Elementary School in the Olneyville neighborhood.
February 22, 2016
Pia is a junior double-concentrating in Education Studies and Comparative Literature. This is her third year with Writers' Group, a Swearer Center Community Program that offers creative writing workshops for adults with developmental disabilities, and her first year as a Swearer Center Community Fellow.
February 19, 2016I was intrigued by the program, but very intimidated by some of the topics. I’ve never been in the position to talk about gender or sexuality or rape culture.
Tiara came into Brown dead set on studying Neuroscience. After a summer or working with the local Planned Parenthood branch and taking health based classes she realized public health was her real calling. She has been volunteering for the SHAPE (Sexual Health Advocacy through Peer Education) program since sophomore year.
February 16, 2016