2017 Public Allies Fellows Tackling a Trio of Team Service Projects

Among the many responsibilities taken on each year by Eagle Rock’s cohort of Public Allies Fellows are Team Service Projects (TSP). This time around, our 2016/2017 fellows have their eyes set on three such projects that are expected to come to a close by the end of this summer.

Taking a step back for a moment, each year, we offer full-time apprenticeships to 12 Public Allies Fellows from across the nation. These fellowships provide an advanced year-long service and leadership development experience at our full-scholarship residential high school in Estes Park, Colo. Once here, the fellows are tasked with working with our educators in re-engaging, retaining and graduating our most prized assets — our students — many of whom have not found success in conventional school settings.

Eagle Rock Public Allies Fellows

Once on campus and acclimated to their new roles, each fellow participates in a Team Service Project that seeks to recognize the assets of a community instead of approaching communities in a needs-based manner. In small groups of fellows — and in partnership with community members — members of the cohort create, implement and evaluate a service project with sustainable and lasting positive impact.

What we offer below are updates to three such projects that have been taken on by our Public Allies Fellows:

The Writing Center, Year 2

Our three second-year fellows are working to expand upon one of last year’s Team Service Project — a campus writing center that serves as a resource for students with the purpose of improving their writing skills. Through this continued team service project, Public Allies Fellows Helen Higgins (Math), Joi Ward (Health, Wellness & Counseling), and Brett Youngerman (Literacy & Literature) are providing more class-specific and advisory guidance (for both presenters and panelists), to help produce higher quality Presentations of Learning (POLs). In addition, they are focusing on enhancing the graduate Personal Growth process, which could now include a “life after Eagle Rock” action plan.

The three fellows are excited to build upon the success of last year’s efforts to create a sustainable and widely used writing center, and they believe the project will better serve Eagle Rock students as they refine their writing skills and prepare for what comes after graduation.

Improved Gender Equity at Eagle Rock School

Team members Josue Quintana (Music fellow), Jordan Cerna (Outdoor Education fellow), Kira Faller (World Languages fellow), Maria Myers (Societies & Cultures fellow), and Cordell Church (Human Performance fellow) are heading this project, which provides an opportunity for students and staff to express how they experience gender at Eagle Rock.

The purpose here is to improve cultural competency around gender, and perhaps take the first steps in developing gender-related education for new students to Eagle Rock, as well as training for staff members. The fellows surveyed Eagle Rock staff and students before the start of the team service project, and plan to do so again at the conclusion of the project. They want to know how respondents perceive gender equity on campus with the aim of achieving an increase in perceived gender equity by the final survey.

New Narratives

A primary objective of this project is to teach students how to make meaningful connections with the community. The idea is to accept the vulnerability of public speaking and learn to connect verbally to the shared fabric of humanity. By empowering a student’s voice, they become connected to a broader collective.

Leading this project are Public Allies Fellows Sebastian Franco (Professional Development), Alexus Bell (Science), Omar Arteaga (Residential Life), and Aaron Segura (Curriculum). The project includes taking students to TED Talks, conducting weekly meetings, teaching them public speaking skills, and having them practice those skills in class and in public gatherings. The group will also connect these skills and lessons to preparation for student Presentations of Learning (POLs).

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