August 2016 News from PYO

During this year's summer trip to Asheville and the surrounding area, students took part in a high-ropes course to build camaraderie as well as to teach confidence, trust and perseverance. We held our own PYO talent show, took a walk on a nature trail and explored downtown Asheville - all in two days. For more pictures of the experience, visit our Facebook page.

During this year’s summer trip to Asheville and the surrounding area, students took part in a high-ropes course to build camaraderie as well as to teach confidence, trust and perseverance. We held our own PYO talent show, took a walk on a nature trail and explored downtown Asheville – all in two days. For more pictures of the experience, visit our Facebook page.

New Internship Format Wrapping Up

Although students began workforce training in the spring, starting with financial literacy, the bulk of the work in preparing students to begin interning at their various sites takes place in June and July.

During this year's Summer Career Academy StepUp Ministry had students write their dreams on balloons. Many students held several and the point was to teach how to juggle priorities. Students quickly learned that sometimes you simply cannot do it all by yourself.

During this year’s Summer Career Academy StepUp Ministry had students write their dreams on balloons. Many students held several and the point was to teach how to juggle priorities. Students quickly learned that sometimes you simply cannot do it all by yourself.

This year’s Summer Career Academy training has focused on writing effectively and more concise, proper time management, creating career goals, knowing worker rights and understanding workplace culture and environment just to name a few subjects. Students spent time reflecting on career and life “road maps” with designated short and long-term plans, designed their own cities (to help promote critical thinking skills) as well as practice public speaking every day.

A special thanks goes to StepUp Durham and Kai Caraganis for stepping in and helping with programming curriculum and working well with our teens.

A total of 28 students attended this year’s training and many began their six-week internships following the July 4th holiday. Sites that students are working this summer include:

  • Camp Calvary
  • Lo & Behold
  • El Futuro
  • The Durham VOICE
  • The Durham Arts Council
  • Partners for Youth Opportunity
  • North Carolina Mutual
  • Democracy North Carolina
  • Welcome Baby
  • Kids Voting Durham
  • Museum of Life and Science
  • Southpoint Family Dentistry
  • Pennies for Change Thrift Store
  • Scrap Exchange
  • Durham Bulls Explorer 50
  • Refiner’s Fire Summer Camp
  • Project BUILD
  • Triangle Land Conservancy
Lazayrea S. works on the newsletter for Welcome Baby, her internship at the Durham County Coopertative Extension.

Lazayrea S. works on the newsletter for Welcome Baby, her internship at the Durham County Coopertative Extension.

We always want to extend our gratitude to all the businesses that have partnered with us this summer and the many businesses that repeatedly partner with us year after year. PYO is thankful that they understand our mission and are always willing to give our students an opportunity to get ahead in life.

Thanks to everyone that provided food and made time for mock interviews including:

  • Beth El Synagogue
  • Plott Hound
  • Charlie Ebel
  • Kay Peters
  • Lee Wollman
  • Alston & Bird
  • Brent Droege
  • ReCity
  • Harry Tankard
  • Dan Brenner

Connecting Through Academics

Dosali Reed-Bandele's Camp Connect has received praise from PYO students this summer. Students said the camp gives them a space to work on and talk about academics without fear. Here Amy Daubert, PYO's college advisor, works with students looking for scholarships.

Dosali Reed-Bandele’s Camp Connect has received praise from PYO students this summer. Students said the camp gives them a space to work on and talk about academics without fear. Here Amy Daubert, PYO’s college advisor, works with students looking for scholarships.

If you have not heard, Camp Connect is PYO’s answer for the “summer slide,” the likelihood that students, primarily from low-income families, lose some of the learning that they have garnered over the previous school year during the summer. Our camp connects students not only to exercises to keep them ready for school but also others to prepare them for life.

Dosali Reed-Bandele, PYO’s academic and CC director, said the camp has been a success.

“The students have come in eager to learn and gain new experiences as well as friendships,” she said.”We started the first week off with Mark Dasseur from Spitfire. He did a truly phenomenal job getting our juniors and seniors to understand the importance of being the controller of your story.”

Camp Connect also had Shereka Dunston from the DurhamCrisis Response Center to inform our students the dangers of sexual harassment and how it affects people all across the board. Most recently we were honored to have Stephen Mullaney, a DPS teacher and consultant, come out and work with students on building community as well as how to create a desired outcome model.

“We will be using this great information throughout the school year,” said Reed-Bandele. “The last two weeks will be dedicated to helping our students identify their strengths as well as challenges. They will also learn effective strategies of organization, studying and self- advocacy.”

Camp Connect also hosts a Parent Academy that provides a space for parents to express their questions and concerns regarding our students academics and informing of ways they can help support their children’s journey to post-secondary education.

Durham VOICE Interns Visit Ocracoke Island

VOICE interns pose with Molasses Creek, an up and coming folk music band from the island, at the end of a recent show.

VOICE interns pose with
Molasses Creek, an up and coming folk music band from the island, at the end of a recent show.

Two years ago PYO interns with the Durham VOICE were invited out to Ocracoke Island by the publisher and editor of the Ocracoke Observer to work on a few stories, learn more about the inner-workings of a very special community newspaper and to have a little relaxation.

What has been created is a unique bond between our students interested in pursuing communications careers and those in the communities around the state who would love to help them get there.

Via the help of several generous donors, students arrived on the island after taking the two and a half hour ferry ride (for most their very first ferry ride) from Swan Quarter on the mainland and spent
their time not only mingling with the locals, known as O’cokers, and getting intimate with island life.

Part of the purpose of the trip is to develop writing skills. The Durham VOICE team, sponsored by Partners for Youth Opportunity, keeps a daily journal to record the sights, sounds, feels and impressions of Ocracoke Island. Young writers, left to right, Bruce Wilkerson and LaMon Jones take pen in hand to put thoughts on paper. (Jock Lauterer photo)

Part of the purpose of the trip is to develop writing skills. The Durham VOICE team, sponsored by Partners for Youth
Opportunity, keeps a daily journal to record the sights, sounds, feels and impressions of Ocracoke Island. Young writers, left to right, Bruce Wilkerson and LaMon Jones take pen in hand to put thoughts on paper.
(Jock Lauterer photo)

The trip was half work in which students each took on a project to write about ranging from two-fourth grade girls that have their own radio station to learning how food is transported to the island.

In addition to talking with local business owners and citizens, students toured, learned about the island ecosystem, met local celebrities like a Judo master and a folk music band and spent time visiting nooks and crannies the average tourist never sees.

And if that wasn’t enough, UNC-Chapel Hill is spending time this summer and the school year following Durham VOICE student interns. The purpose is to discover what kind of affects the newspaper has had on not only their lives but their families and community. A completion date has not yet been set.

The stories from the trip will be in several publications including the Durham VOICE, the Ocracoke Observer and PYO’s website and newsletter.

Appreciating Natalie Gavaria

PYO is a special place where people in the community often come to get more in touch with their neighbors and in particular the youth. Each year we have a special intern who comes along and often goes above and beyond the duties that staff and our students may put on them.

This year that intern is Natalie Gavaria. Natalie is a Cary, N.C. native that heard about the program from Shay Kimzey, a PYO intern from a couple of years ago. Gavaria has been integral in planning many PYO events including our various celebrations like the annual breakfast and the end-of-year celebration. This year’s highly popular spring trip was completely planned by her.

Natalie Gavaria

Natalie Gavaria

PYO could not have been as successful this past year as it has without her.

Here’s Gavaria in her own words:

“I came fresh from a camp job after graduating college, looking for meaningful work to fill my time in the Triangle. A good friend of mine, and previous PYO intern(Shay), suggested reaching out to Julie Wells to see if they needed an extra hand. I always heard such great praise from Shay about PYO’s incredible students, families and staff. PYO has been wonderful letting me intern with the organization since February during my awkward limbo phase after graduation. During this time I’ve been able to take a deeper look at how an effective nonprofit should run. I’ve been able to first observe, and later be in the community with an intricate network of staff, board members, students and community partners. Whether it was bookkeeping, working on a donor database or planning the summer trip, l’m so grateful I’ve been able to learn from and also be a part of this family. Every staff member gives their whole heart to this job and works tirelessly to make sure our students and families are supported. It’s been an eye-opening and amazing experience being able to work alongside these brilliant people!”

Gavaria is currently wrapping up her intern time with PYO and will be moving on to new and exciting things. She plans on checking back in with the organization in about one year.

Thanks Natalie — you will always be a part of this family.

Making Inroads in the Community

Au'Dasia Newsome, a recent Riverside High School graduate, has been interning with Lo & Behold Natural Body Care this summer. A future entrepreneur, she said she's learning the importance of having a business plan and organizational skills to have a successful business.

Au’Dasia Newsome, a recent Riverside High School graduate, has been interning with Lo & Behold Natural Body Care this summer. A future entrepreneur, she said she’s learning the importance of having a business plan and organizational skills to have a successful business.

One of the core components of PYO is to connect students to community opportunities that they may not otherwise be exposed to. We broker these resources and connections that can come in an array of different options including leadership, scholarships, apprenticeships, job site visits, health and wellness, community events and more.
This summer several of our students have been taking part in documentaries following their hopes and dreams as Durham kids and PYO students.

Students from the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke chose to follow a pair of sisters, Julissa and Giselle Santos, who live in East Durham. One documentary looks at Julissa as she helps artist Cassidy James Logan illustrate a children’s book being written by Bethany Dalton, due to be published soon and her dream of becoming an artist.

A separate documentary by CDS students follows Giselle as she overcomes obstacles in East Durham and explains how her mother inspires her to seek success.

StoryDriven, a video production service based in the American Underground has also been spending time this summer following our Aiken family and PYO siblings Gene, Trina and Serina. Production on the film should be complete by mid-fall.

Dates to Remember

Monday, Aug. 8
6 p.m. Lyon Park
Mandatory Parent’s Meeting
Discussing PYO expectations for participation and savings program
Friday, Aug. 12
Camp Connect Ends!
Thursday, Aug. 18
5:30 p.m. Lyon Park
Mentor Training
New Mentor Preliminary Training
Old Mentors Focusing on Cultural Arts
We’ll be gathering mentors together over the next couple of months
Please RSVP  
 
Aug. 20 – Aug. 27
PYO Offices are Closed
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Get in Touch

Partners for Youth Opportunity  
1309 Halley Street
Durham, NC 27707 USA

Mail : [email protected]
Phone : (919) 536-4230