August 24.- Two months in the summer helped us to meet wonderful young Latinos, and learn more about the families and the reunification process. The participants of Teen Testimonios Summer Program attend different schools in the city (Digital, Patterson, Lakeland, Benjamin Franklin). They were part of the program because it offered “algo para hacer durante el verano que a veces no sabemos dónde enviarles” (something to do during the summer, sometimes we don’t know where to send them) told us one of the moms who attended the closing session. But we see more, the were part of the program because of their potential, we believe that providing resources to youth makes them confident and willing to succeed.
The summer program was an extension of the year-long Teen Testimonios that takes place in the schools. The team behind the program recognizes that the youth participating in the program need support to navigate the system and access resources, sometimes difficult to get into. Language is one big barrier, but also fear and isolation. Some families are concerned about safety and reliable transportation to send their children to after-school activities.
We worked with them on strengthen leadership, coping, and communication skills in English and Spanish to all the participants, in addition we took them to field trips related with nature, culture and science in Baltimore and Maryland. We visited Masonville Cove Nature Center, The Walters and NASA Goddard Flight Center. During the closing session, all participants received a backpack with school supplies, and a giftcard as a recognition for each session they attended.
Thank you to our wonderful instructors, and all the organizations involved in providing an enriching summer to our youth.
All this was possible thanks to the support of the Blaustein Foundation and The Family League of Baltimore.