Early on a Saturday morning (November 9th) 30 students and 15 volunteers headed out from Spring Oaks Middle School to Everest Institute and ITT Technical Institute in north Houston.
This was technical school month for the “Students With Amazing Potential” (SWAP) group. Students got hands on training with medical bandaging along with dental hygiene (certificates are offered in these areas). Students also received a pleasant surprise with fresh baked chocolate chip cookies from Everest!!
On the second tour, students got a talk on preparedness to attend ITT as well as a presentation on different majors including, paralegal studies, electrical engineering technology, computer information systems to name a few (associates of applied science (AAS) and bachelors of applied science (BAS) offered in these areas), along with a tour of the ITT facility off I-45. One of the instructors discussed cyber-security with the group, as well as LINUX operating system being the foundation for building apps to mobile electronic devices.
I was amazed at the attentiveness of the sixth graders throughout the tours. The group followed up with lunch and a small group session in the Upper Room Community (Chapelwood United Methodist Church). Here, SWAP Birkman Bingo, which is catching fire, along with discussion of electives offered at Spring Oaks Middle School was taking place, and to think all of this took place in less than 5 hours.
As a volunteer, I could think of no better act of service outpouring of love having planned this outing with my Upper Room Missional Leadership Cohort (MLC) triad and participating in this outing with SWAP. As a Christian whose vocation happens to be an educator, I have always searched for opportunities to serve God in ways that can use my gifts, talents, and experiences. The SWAP program is one of those opportunities because it focuses on the adage of ‘teaching a man how to fish verses just giving him a fish’.
I hope and pray that these outings and interactions with these students will yield produce in the lives of these students where they will be able to grow up and experience a higher quality of life. To God be the Glory.
Stephen W. Washington, Ed.D
The SWAP team leaders and volunteers are equipped with bags for their small groups with each student’s Birkman & Areas of Interest, Bingo Cards (3 different variations), Chips, Instructions and candy — all to assist them in identifying career opportunities for the SWAP students. This Saturday’s SWAP will be visiting Everest Institute and ITT.
November 9th is another SWAP Saturday!
Volunteers please arrive at Spring Oaks Middle School (SOMS) no later than 8:15 am as we have a firm departure at 8:30 am.
Breakfast will be provided at SOMS. We will spend about an hour or so at each location with sponsor-led interactive tours.
8:30 am: Depart from Spring Oaks Middle School to Everest
9:00am-10:10am: Everest Institute Tour
10:30-11:40 am: ITT Technical Institute Tour
12:15 pm-1:00pm: Lunch/debrief Chapelwood United Methodist Church (Upper Room)
1:30pm: Arrive at Spring Oaks Middle School