For the 3rd year in a row, Project MALES dedicated the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday as a day of service to honor his legacy. On Monday, January 19th, our mentors and work-study students kicked off mentoring activities for the spring semester with a retreat. Mentors and work-study students participated in a variety of activities. They divided into groups corresponding to their respective school sites and they engaged in several team-building activities, including icebreakers and energizer activities to help students when motivation decreases.
In addition, Project MALES mentors and work-study students participated in two personal development workshops. The first was facilitated by Paola Rabago, Coordinator of Advise Texas, a college advising corps that places recent college graduates in high school campuses. Recent graduates serve as near-peer college advisors for low-income and first-generation students leading them to college. Paola provided our students with information regarding potential career paths in education after college graduation by describing how the Advise Texas program works. The second workshop, led by Crystal Guevara, a graduate student in the Counseling Psychology Program under the Department of Educational Psychology at UT Austin was well received. She shared her work with young Latina middle school girls. Crystal engaged our students in a dialogue about what it means to be a Latina, including how to better support adolescent females in terms of developing a positive racial identity, body image and how young Latina women can be empowered to do better in school and become leaders in their communities.
Our 2015 Project MALES MLK Day retreat was a great success thanks to our mentors, work-study students, guest speakers, and mentoring staff. Stay tuned as we will be profiling our mentoring sites, mentoring events, and activities throughout the semester.
Project MALES is starting 2015 right where we left off! This year the Project MALES mentoring program is extending its partnership with the Austin Independent School District (AISD) by adding one more mentoring site. Starting in the spring semester, Project MALES will begin mentoring at Webb Middle School. In addition, our mentors and work-study students will enroll in the second part of Impacting Males through Peer Advising College Tracks (IMPACT), our service-learning course. This semester our student mentors will continue to work on mentor development as well as developing a range of topics and activities focusing on college and career pathways after high school for our mentees.
Our mentoring activities will kick-off with our Project MALES mentor retreat, which will be held on Monday January 19, 2015. This is also Martin Luther King’s birthday, which Project MALES has dedicated as a day of service to honor Dr. King’s legacy.
Additionally the Project MALES Student Organization has organized a great Plática Series for this semester that includes prominent members of the Latino community in Austin. This semester our guest speakers will be; Mark L. Madrid, President and CEO of the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (Wednesday February 11th), Stefan Molina, Director of Operations at Duncan G. Stroik Architect, LLC. (Wednesday March 11th), and David Contreras, Founder and Executive Director of LaunchPad The Center (Wednesday April 8th). All Pláticas are scheduled for 7:00 p.m. in UTC 1.146.
Finally, this semester the Project MALES Student Organization will continue their annual participation in two community engagement events, joining the Latino Austin community in the 9th Annual Feria Para Aprender on February 21st and Explore UT on March 7th 2015, were we will be hosting our community partners Communities In Schools (CIS) and XY-Zone and their students. We are looking forward to a successful 2015. Stay tuned for more updates throughout the semester.