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OneRouge Community Check-In - Week 55

Updated: Dec 30, 2021



Week #55

'Our Youth, This Summer'

Meeting Notes Prepared by Zoë Haddad (Walls Project)


Featured Speakers


Shanice Robinson (Program Director, BRidge Agency)


  • The BRidge Agency is turning five years old August 23

  • Exist to address the social drivers of crime - why are the kids doing what they’re doing and how do we address trauma

  • Service, empowerment, advocacy

  • Have served over 6,500 families to date

  • 10 unique programs to address drivers of crime in our city including mental health and counseling

  • Mostly serve ages 6-13

  • Announcing summer enrichment programs today on social media

  • All about empowering youth and giving them a voice in their community, providing therapy and counseling if need be

  • Bridging the gap to make a better Baton Rouge

Janel Washington (Senior Program Coordinator, The Futures Fund)


  • Senior Program Coordinator for the Futures Fund - the Tech Academy (youth) and Coding Boot Camp (adults)

  • Youth programing this summer starts June 7 with our partnership with MyWe servicing their youth as training and certification providers in coding and programming

  • 8 week programming workshop with beginning skills of what it takes to get into coding, new technologies, and gauging interest to potentially continue into the full 18 month program with the possibility of future work study, mentorship, and certification (CIW IBC)

  • Fostering relationships with higher ed, job pipelines, and things of that nature

  • Adult coding program is offered to those graduating high school as well as out of school youth (OOSY) who don’t really know where they want to go next

  • Luckily an industry like coding is wide open - getting certifications help move you immediately into jobs

  • Next CBC cohort starts July 6, three different relays - Level I, Level II, Level III

  • Just like our youth program, they then get the IBC CIW certifications upon completion with access to those higher ed and job industry connections as well as internship, apprenticeship opportunities available

  • The main thing is assisting and driving down the unemployment number

  • Targeting the 10 parish region, North Baton Rouge, and specific areas proven to have a large digital gap caused by accessibility


Andrea Roberts (COO, BREC)


  • BREC summer camp will be back in full swing this summer

  • Regular recreation camps that go on at least three field trips every week, place throughout and outside the parish

  • Amazing opportunity for kids who may not otherwise have the chance to visit places like TopGolf, the Audubon Aquarium, etc.

  • Specialty summer camps at Bluebonnet Nature Swamp, Farr Park Equestrian Center, Independence Theater, and so on

  • Find out more here: playbook.brec.org


Helen Frink (Mayor-President Broome's Office)


  • Worked with the Mayor’s Youth Workforce Experience (MyWe) program for the past three going on four summers

  • Impact on individuals is amazing - we have someone getting hired into City Parish for a full time job after being with us for several years...brought him on as AmeriCorp and he’s now launching a full time career. We see that kind of thing a lot

  • Work very hard to bring in, train, and pay young people and continue following them into the workforce

  • Working to build a database of every young person we engage and make sure we are serving both them and their families with wraparound services to prepare them for the future

  • Lifting up and preparing young people is a major priority of Mayor Broome

  • Today (Friday May 7) is the last day we’re taking applications for our summer cohort but we do have year long opportunities for workforce development

  • We are placing 11th and 12th graders into host sites this summer. We’re prioritizing safety during the pandemic so our middle and 9th/10th graders are on a virtual training program. 11th and 12th grade host sites can do just about anything - identify a workplace mentor to have them doing anything from answering phones, filing, etc. Just reach out to hfrink@brla.gov and I can connect to Big Buddy

Additional Summer Programs


Christian Engle (YMCA)

  • New CDC guidelines for summer camps are extremely restrictive. Several entities are advocating at the national office to get the guidelines alleviated. Right now they are mandating that kids are in masks 99.9% of the time even outdoors, requiring 6 feet of distance. Just want to put it out there for people to be aware of. YMCA camps are filling up quickly which is both a good and bad thing with the new guidelines. All of our pools are open, everything is moving as normal.

  • Our biggest thing right now is we are probably two steps away from entering the Early Childhood Education Programs. Nationally the YMCA is the largest provider of childcare services. Taking advantage of our brand and entering that world here soon.

Katherina McGraw (Empower 225)

  • This year we have capacity for 50 youth from 70805, 70806, 70802, etc. areas at the Dream Center and then 50 youth at the FISC center

  • 8 day summer camp with 4 days in June and 4 in July

  • Provide them with life skills, field trips, encouragement, leadership, technology, tutoring, educational pieces...everything they need for the ‘21-22 school year

  • Email for more info: Info@empower225.org

Lindi Spalatin (McMains Foundations)

  • Capable Arts Program geared towards kids with developmental delays, not just McMains children, anyone can come

  • Only summer camp designed for that demographic and their siblings

  • Open to thirty people this year to make sure we keep everything safe

  • Arts camp, there’s a movement element, four day long camp in June

  • Finalizing the information, but the theme will be summer olympics this year

  • Our No Such Thing as Impossible Bike Ride is in two weeks, raises money for our Wheels to Succeed programs

  • Participate or come out to support our riders

  • Already raised over $40k to get bikes for kids with physical disabilities and developmental delays

  • 10 mile, 40 mile, 70 mile ride

Emily Chatelain (Three O’ Clock Project)

  • Partnered with BREC, YMCA, and a few other programs to deliver meals every day to camps and field trip programs

  • Not yet confirmed what EBR Schools are planning but I believe they may be doing home deliveries, working to better understand what they’re doing so we can fill the gaps and not duplicate efforts

  • We’d like to see home delivery available again this summer in some way

  • If you need meals for your camps, please let me know.

  • Also, we are struggling to get enough food vendors to meet the need. We’re trying to figure out logistics and delivery. Partnering with several local restaurants. If you know of any restaurants or entities that would want to partner with us, let us know. This summer with camps opening up in person we have to be everywhere at the same time.

Kelly Welch (ExxonMobil)


  • In an effort to get some of our North BR youth into our facilities to see available career options, we are putting together a program for incoming seniors and graduating seniors to come work at the site

  • A pilot program, so only taking in about 6 students for this summer

  • Start in June and go through early August

  • The kids are going to shadow some of our specialists so they’ll get to see the different careers that they can build if they decide to pursue a trade

  • I will send out application info, we’ll have a Zoom call for parents on May 17, applications due May 21, Zoom or in person interviews

  • Good paying job for the summer

  • We will be asking for a teacher recommendation and to see a transcript but GPA is not a determining factor

  • Must be at least 16 with parental consent required under 18

Patrick Tuck (Louisiana 4-H Foundation)

  • Camp Grant Walker is not functioning this summer so about 6,000 kids will not travel to Fishville, LA to have that experience. There is a bill in the House right now that’s a check box - won’t be on this year’s, but if you want to donate on your state income tax next year you can. I’ve got several donors lined up but it just takes time. Multi-million dollar recovery effort recovering from Laura and Delta.

  • We have several summer traveling camps around the state. EBR is already full. OOSY Coalition had a session yesterday with a couple of internet providers - my personal hope is that the larger coalition work we’re doing with CPEX will help us centralize so we’re not building three or four different places to go to find youth opportunities on a year round basis. Excited about the potential progress there. Dr. Narcisse has said that that coalition will be a crucial part of what he does with OOSY programming.

Rhonda Robison (UpwardBound - Southern U)

  • Actively preparing for the summer session - run a six week summer camp on Southern’s campus

  • This year will actually be 100% virtual

  • Gearing up in academic courses and preparing for the upcoming school year

  • Working with Futures Fund Saturday sessions

  • Plan to engage in a STEM board partnership where students can learn a bit around cybersecurity, robotics, and sensor building

  • Year round program, work on Saturdays during the school year

Gwen Hamilton (NSBR)

  • Young Entrepreneurs Academy is accepting applications for the ‘21-22 cohort where they train young entrepreneurs grade 8-12 to form their own business from the bottom up with a dedicated mentor

  • Cohort of 30

  • Applications are online now

  • Let’s think about next year and work really hard to identify gaps in services. We’re all limited by space, personnel, and budget and we all feel that we’re not serving everybody. Let’s try to collect data from these wonderful programs so we will know where we’re not meeting the need. Families do not come in pieces - wraparound services are ideal, but kids have different interests and needs.

Reginald Brown (Gardere Initiative)

  • Summer program for kids ages 9-12, hire high school students through MyWe to be counselors

  • June 7 - July 28, M-TH

  • Also - our 15th year in Gardere so please join us as we begin our year of anniversary celebrations starting in June!

Edy Addison (CAUW)


  • Over the holidays a few funders and nonprofits that provide services to kids in schools got together to talk about the difficulty that providers were having working in school systems during the pandemic. Now going into our fourth convening of the Out of School Time Providers in Baton Rouge

  • One of our goals is providing collaborative summer opportunities so that youth providers can jointly recruit and provide programming

  • Looking for that in summer programming into the fall

  • Our next meeting is May 14 - we have four different working groups talking about community building, field building, cross site training, and summer collaborative programming

  • Email if interested: edya@cauw.org

 

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