As the Sun graces the skies and the school bells have rung their final goodbyes, the eagerly awaited season of Summer has arrived, bringing with it a plethora of opportunities for young minds to explore, learn, and grow. Summer programs have become an essential part of the vacation season, offering a diverse range of activities and experiences that cater to children and teens of all interests and aspirations.
The Latinx Center has set the tone for the Summer programs on the east side of Flint offering not only one but two Summer opportunities for you between the ages of 6-19. Starting the end of June the two programs have shown nothing short of growth, creativity, critical thinking and spontaneity. From academic enrichment to sports, arts, and adventure, these programs aim to create a holistic and well rounded Summer experience for participants. More than just a way to keep youth occupied during the break, these initiatives foster personal development, social skills, and the pursuit of new passions.
Our Summer enrichment program is called the Youth Summer Spanish Language enrichment. (YSSL) This program is designed for the youth between the ages of 7-12 years. Throughout this program the youth have done a plentitude of activities that highlight the culture of Latin America, while practicing their Spanish language fluency. The youth who have attended this program have learned how to cook dishes from various countries and regions within Latin America and various drinks and snacks associated with the Summer season.
The main purpose of the YSSL program is first to instill pride in cultural heritage afforded by the youth. Secondly to encourage and expose cultural competency between each other. The Latinx Center strives to encourage a sense of self exposure, reflection, and collaboration with others. The Latinx Program Department not only understands the importance of relationship building starting at the elementary school age, but layering that with cultural agency, comprehension, and collaboration provides a solid foundation for attaining a relevant education that helps to rebuild a broken society. For us, here at the Latinx Center, we believe that is one of our duties to not only engage the youth, but to build up the youth to be able to create a greater world to leave for future generations.
The Youth Leadership Academy (YLA) is our yearly Summer paid internship program for the adolescent youth between the ages of 14-20. This program focuses on community and individual leadership development. The YLA program has held many conversations over the Summer about themes akin to leadership, such as an identity, placement characteristics of community and individual leaders, and fostering change within the community both locally and nationally.
The other portion of the YLA program is the neighborhood beautification activities throughout the 6 week program, the youth have contributed greatly to the beautification of the east side of Flint, chiefly around the Center grounds. They have done trash collection, weed pulling, and brush clearing. The youth understand that there is a great need for neighborhood upkeep within their local community so they make sure to do their part to address this need. Understanding that healthy and sustainable communities place an emphasis on neighborhood beautification, the YLA continues to make sure that their local community is not left out of the conversation, by clearing the Latinx community of any brush and maintaining an area where everyone can see from all directions.