Buzzing All Around Us

I walked into the youth center this past Monday, and students were EVERYWHERE.

Now in a school,or traditional classroom setting this would be pretty alarming!! Teachers, administrators and other staff would think the class and/or students are out of control. However, this INSTANTLY put a smile on my face.

Students were on the first floor, second floor, and third. They were utilizing EVERY part of the Dream House. Thus allowing the Dream House to live out to its full potential and purpose. Students were busy preparing for their community workshops that would be held off site in the community that afternoon. 

This was also a sign that our students are growing. No more baby steps, and warming up to become comfortable. They were ALL taking charge in a cooperative way. 


As the groups headed out into the community the buzzing slowed down. There is one group that are working hard on pieces to add to our spring showcase (pssstttt. stay tuned for details!!!). Although the house wasn’t empty, those students were focused on executing great pieces! 

The buzzing began again as students burst through the Dream House’s front door. They returned overjoyed at the success of their second week of workshops in the community. Some students mentioned the kids at the community schools, remembered their names and were extremely happy to see them again.

Check back next week, to hear more buzzing. 


Inside the brain’s of our PHS students after their First Day back this Spring!

  • “I am excited to get into the flow of teaching the students in community groups”.
  • “I am a team player”.
  • Eye contact while others are talking is another form of respect.
  • Show cooperation in teams to change the perspective of those that may be watching. 
  • Expression and youth voice is important. Be mindful to open up the floor to any and everyone in all arenas.
  • It is okay to discuss and share ideas with others that may or may not be apart of your class/group.

Greet and listen!

Hey, it’s me…Jessica. I  have something warming to share. 

On Monday’s, I spend a short amount of time with most, if not all of the high school students asking how did their weekends go, what’s new in life, etc. If I don’t make my rounds before class begins, or during, I exchange words with students as they re-board the MICA bus. 

This past Monday, 1/29 was our first day back this spring with the high school students. They were busy planning for their community workshops. This means the students were in groups consisting of MICA and PHS students together. 

As Diana gathered her things to leave, I asked how was her day. She replied and told me she had a great day because working in her group went well. I asked what about working in the group did she enjoy, she replied, “I was able to share my ideas and everyone listened to me”.  Something about how she said it, made think this may be new for her. So I asked does that happen often, and she went on to tell me not really. 

It was very heart warming to know, our young students are being heard and ideas are being shared.

For the last year or two, it’s been important to me that I share positive vibes, words, smiles to everyone. You never know the difference you can make just by saying hello or asking how someone’s day may be going. 



Inside the MICA Student’s Brain’s

Spring…semester that is, has sprung! The first day back to classes in 2018, and no high school students. NO! They’re not gone, just had midterms. I hope they studied hard, and did great on them!!! The day shifted due to not having our high school counterparts, yet still a great day. 

Let’s read what the MICA Students had to say:

Logic models are really great to use and I look forward to applying them in future programming.

I enjoyed the article we read about Empathy in Education.  I like reflecting about past experiences.

I thought there was great dialogue today. Everyone shared and was critical.



StayCation Success!

Our Holiday Fundraiser was a hit!

I enjoyed having the Dream House full of family, friends, and supporters. 

It was really amazing to watch the turn out, as the students worked so hard to make it happen. I am so proud of BOTH the high school students, and MICA students!!



The time will come for more events and opportunities for people to join the fun, learning, bonding taking place inside the Dream House—AGAIN!

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Prepare. Create. Apply. Evaluate.

Ms. K prepared so much for class today and it was mind blowing. She had all of the stations prepared so all we had to do was execute them. Cam, Catherine and I worked on the mailbox and everyone throughout the house was working on something. There was great energy throughout the house. Most of us got everything done. I can’t imagine how long it must have taken if Jessica and Ms. K did all of that themselves…and they had no reason to do it by themselves! We all worked together to get the idea/theme and all the work and details are coming now. We got a lot of them done today and I am sure we will have some time to finish them next Monday. Still pretty bummed I can’t come to the fundraiser, but I know it will be successful…once we all share and get people to buy tickets!

It was interesting observing Nacho lead class again today. Her energy is quite opposite of Ms. K and I noticed some of the high schoolers getting sleepy. Nacho is much quieter. Nothing against her, it’s just how she speaks, much more calmly. I hope they got something out of what we did. I am finding a bit of difficulty making the connection of learning about icons and what we are working on now (especially with the fundraiser). I think it is great for the high schoolers as learning designers, but I am struggling to find the connection with “why now?” I think it’s great, just lacking the why for now.

I hope the fundraiser is a success. I think it was very ambitious for us to throw one together in just a few weeks, and it is coming to fruition! SO much planning, but I think it’s working. On another note, I love how we open class. Morning pages and mindfulness is really great. I wish we had something like this when I was in high school. It seems the high schoolers enjoy it and are all for it. I am sure some high schoolers hate it, but it seems like this bunch is gaining a lot from it. My co-teacher at Access Art tried implementing this with our Youth Assistants. We did it once and it seemed to go really well! They thought it was strange, but everyone participated. We haven’t kept up with it, in part because we probably just forgot since we are not used to doing it, but I think it’s a great idea. Middle schoolers are a bit of a challenge, but with a smaller group it worked well. If I become a teacher in the future, I would love to implement this tactic.


-Jessie (MICA student)