Amped Summer is in full swing! We started off the season with three weeks of summer programming that served a diverse group of youth from around the district. Our Amped Summer campers ranged in age from 13 - 19 and represented 11 schools!
During week one students set the norms and values they wanted to uphold as a summer community. They made vision boards, got to know each other, and engaged in a variety of workshops hosted by Amped Instructional Specialist Destiny Cooper, ICARE Specialist Aubrey Jones, and peer-counselor Tonja Myles. Former therapist Wanda Kuo led an intergenerational dialogue on mental health as well as a virtual yoga session.
During the second week, teachers and community members were invited to join students and summer staff as we watched the Grace Lee Boggs documentary American Revolutionary. Dr. Anna West facilitated a powerful workshop in which Amped youth and “elders” exchanged stories with one another. Later that week Dr. Leslie Grover and Dr. Reva Hines of Narrative4 led active listening sessions and theater exercises. They also gave students disposable cameras for an auto-photography project.
In the third week, Amped board member Dr. Andrew Kuo set up his portable recording studio so students could record the poems, songs, podcasts, oral histories, and other projects they had been working on. Summer Amped concluded with a DreamKeepers College and Career Readiness Institute. Representatives from Southern University, EBR’s Office of Career and Technical Education, LSU, and BRCC led workshops and presented about their institutions to help students prepare for the futures they desire.
To get a true sense of the Summer Amped experience, we invite you to read this “I Remember” poem, written by one of our campers during a virtual writing workshop.
I Remember by Imani Morris, 8th grade
I remember the sweet smiles of everyone’s faces on the first day of camp
I remember the sweet taste of star cut apples
I remember us all being shocked at some of the things we saw in the American revolutionary documentary
I remember the big group introductions
I remember the snacks we managed to eat in 1 week
I remember the deep conversations of our small groups
I remember the acceptance of others stories
I remember the crying laughing of my group for the theatre activity
I remember using up 20 disposable camera shots in 1 day
I remember sitting talking to sydni while we waited for our mothers
I remember using up the whole break trying to figure out the board game clue
I remember doing a recording for the first time
I remember the messy clothing left behind from tie dye
I remember the endless debate on whether it’s shein or she in
I remember trying to come up with rhymes when we rapped
And, I remember the people I met along the way
With the close of Summer Amped, we are moving gratefully into a time of collective rest by taking a shared hiatus from June 19th - July 19th.
Our team at Humanities Amped is invested in long-term, sustainable, collective care, and we know that commitment begins right where we are, in our own lives. Showing up for ourselves means being intentional about slowing down and resting. It’s how we re-ground ourselves and build our capacity to show up for the long run.
It’s never an easy choice to care for ourselves. There is always so much to do, and for those of us whose work is caring for our communities, we often feel like it is never enough. And yet we know that if we want to show up wholeheartedly, we must invest in our own restoration.
We hope to come back to you filled with energy, insight, and imagination. You, dear ones, deserve nothing less than our best selves!
See you in late July. :)
The Amped Team