Ready To Grow: Project GRAD

PAIR Global Leaders and Global Scholars high school students attended the two-week Project GRAD College and Career Institute at Houston Community College’s Alief-Hayes campus. Participants learned about different educational pathways, high-demand careers, and how to be successful in the workplace. In addition, they toured Texas State Technical College, University of Houston-Downtown, and HCC’s Coleman College for Health Sciences.

Some of the careers PAIR students explored included cyber-security, welding, nursing, dental assisting, and laboratory sciences. Students also had the opportunity to prepare a 30-second “self-commercial” to pitch themselves to college admissions officers or employers. On the last day, they celebrated with a closing ceremony and received their certificates of completion.

Feeling the Spark at Camp Spark

Students from Westbury and Wisdom High Schools participated in a week-long day camp, Camp Spark, dedicated to STEM activities and career exploration. The camp kicked off with former NASA astronaut and physician, Ellen Baker. She explained how she got her start as an astronaut and steps that interested students might take to follow a similar path. Students designed their own bottle rockets and launched them in a competition to see which team could launch theirs the highest. The students connected with many leaders: a PhD student getting her doctorate in Chemistry; Judy Le, president and co-founder of TakeRoot Leadership; Jane Grande-Allen, chairwoman of the department of bio-engineering; and a chemical engineer who demonstrated food science.

Camp Spark gave the high schoolers a chance to experiment with potential career options for themselves. Rice students and staff took students on tours of the Rice University campus and school library, the BioResearch Collaborative building, and BRC labs where scientists are utilizing 3-D printing to help treat heart disease and other maladies. In the labs, students were able to dissect cow hearts to get a first-hand look at how the heart works and the different parts of the organ. Finally, they experienced food science through the process of making cheese. Each group had a different milk base and used different acidic agents to create cheese of varying hardness and texture.

Global Learners Middle Schoolers Enjoy Summer Camp

Students from all three Global Learners middle schools came together in July for three weeks of enrichment and excitement! The theme of this year’s summer camp was PAIR Olympics. Students and counselors were organized into teams, creating their own countries, flags, traditions, and an original Olympic Sport. In addition to team-building, students read daily to prevent summer learning loss, engaged in writing and arts activities, and enjoyed time outside in friendly competitions.

One of our goals this summer was to better prepare our incoming high school students through Freshman Boot camp sessions covering topics ranging from virtual tours of their new schools to responding to peer pressure. Field trips are always a highlight of camp; we visited the Children’s Museum, enjoyed a trip to the theater, played soccer with Dynamo and Dash coaches, and relaxed at Levy Park.

We would like to recognize our partners who helped to make camp so special: The City of Houston & Houston Arts Alliance, ExxonMobil Community Summer Jobs Program, Writers in the Schools, the Children’s Museum of Houston, Soulfully You, Tutti’s Treats, Dynamo Charities (Kicks 4 Kids), ReVision, and Jane Long Academy.