Saturday, October 22, 2016

Aspire and Achieve Testimonial from Rickey Jackson

Rickey Jackson graduated from Oakland Technical High School last June. He was part of our Aspire and Achieve Program and is now at Cal State East Bay. On another posting I will put in the speech he gave at graduation. For now, though I want so post his testimonial to Aspire and Achieve:

Aspire and Achieve
Over the past year, I have been helped by all types of people, but the individuals under Aspire and Achieve are by far the best. It was more than just the work that we did, we made a great connection with one another. I felt as if I know them on a different level. They really cared about helping me with my work and making sure that I understood everything that I did.
Max Shapiro, who was my Math tutor with Aspire and Achieve, would spend many hours of his time on weekends, on the phone with me and on Skype helping me to understand math. Math had become one of my worst subjects, but recently I have gotten so much better at it. Working with Max is great, he is a great teacher, also he is very patient and takes his time when he is working with me.
Thomas Demerath, who is my English tutor with Aspire and Achieve, I feel like I made the foremost connection with, helped me study for my EPT test. He showed me how to write a whole essay from just a few lines. That was one of my biggest challenges, I didn’t know how to expand my thoughts. I was able to improve my writing skills so much, I learned how to correct my punctuation, and I can write essays better. My teacher began to notice. It got to the point that she thought that I had been cheating, but then I had to show her that I was the one doing the work.
Aspire and Achieve did more for me then just tutoring, for example things that impacted my whole education. They help me with fees to go up to Sonoma to take a mandatory test that I needed for college. If they did not help me, It would have been hard for me to make my way there. They were able to help me with my fees for my trip to New York with the African American Male Achievement Student Leadership Council. I wouldn’t have been able to get around or pay for food while I was out there without them.
The biggest difference was that I felt as if they really took helping me seriously, also I felt as if it wasn't just for a paycheck the feeling was that they actually cared about my education. You could tell more and more each time that we worked together. I greatly appreciate everything that they have done for me and I can say that they made a huge impact on my life.

Rickey Jackson

Monday, October 10, 2016

Thursday at Oakland Tech

Thursday, October 3, 2016
I don't usually put in links, but the one I put in Facebook does a good job of telling the story

Monday, October 3, 2016

Aspire and Achieve English Tutor at work

 My new schedule finally let me visit our English/History Tutor, Thomas Demerath at work with two of our students. It was a fun experience to watch Tom and his students work together. 

Tom helps them with their daily homework and gets them to think about the bigger picture. Looking to college as a goal and helping them plan the best way for them to get there. 

It was great to see Tom and the students work together. Our Aspire and Achieve Program is fortunate to have such dedicated tutors as Tom Demerath and Max Shapiro working to bring out the best in the students they tutor.

Tom and Kidus discuss possible options of homework assignment. Notice also the chips and cup for soda. Added afternoon energy keeps the students focused.

Tom and Ronell discuss ways to make the most of his senior year by ways to raise his GPA and have more college options and scholarship opportunities.

Field Trip to see Othello at Cal Shakes in Orinda

On Friday, September 23, Aspire and Achieve along with AAMA took 21 students and 4 chaperones to see a special Student Matinee performance of Othello at the Cal Shakes Theater in Orinda.
 The performance was wonderful as was the Cal Shakes Staff. We were given a grove area to have our lunch and a staff member came by and had some of the kids read from the script. First a little fast and then really fast. It was to get the students acquainted with the speech and rhythm of Shakespeare. 
It was a fantastic event, and I sent a thank you note to Cal Shakes:

We at Aspire and Achieve, African American Male Achievement (AAMA) Manhood Development Class and Oakland Technical High School, would like to express our deepest admiration and gratitude for a wonderful experience for our students! We were so impressed with the organization, support, instruction and friendliness of the entire Cal Shakes Staff. The production was outstanding, and the interaction with the students was handled very well.

Aspire and Achieve is working with AAMA and 100 Black Men to provide resources and support to encourage, engage and empower our students. This was our first outing of this new school year and we couldn’t have picked a better one.

Thanks again and our very best wishes!