By Ha Nguyen, VA Summer Program Intern
Photos Courtesy of AALEAD Staff
“A person can grow only as much as his horizon allows.” – John Powell
For the past four weeks of summer, VA middle & high school youth have gathered together and opened themselves up to new ideas and experiences through AALEAD’s VA Summer Program. You can probably guess from the hints above that the theme for our VA Summer Program this year is none other than “Summer Horizons!” For youth, expanding horizons requires a lot bravery, from stepping out of their comfort zones to trying something new to develop themselves. Let me give you a quick snapshot of what our youths’ adventures have been like so far this summer!
1. Let’s get physical!
At the very beginning of our program, the youth had the chance to learn the importance of maintaining their physical fitness, and what could be more fitting than engaging in a soccer tournament on the field? Each youth was paired with someone to create a team that represented a country and competed to bring their country to the championship. Despite the scorching heat of summer, everyone pushed themselves to the limit and at the same time exercised teamwork skills to take the game to the next level.
2. Cooking with spices
What is one word that could bring everyone together? Food! How can youth appreciate all the aspects of food? Have everyone participate in the hands-on experience of cooking it! Our youth had the chance to distinguish different spices and how they could elevate the flavor of all the dishes they can cook.
3. Stimulating conversation
In true spirit of learning something new every day, youth take the initiative to expand their knowledge at every opportunity. Our youth took a field trip and explored the Koshland Science Museum, immersing themselves in interactive games to build resilience as a community upon facing hazards. At the same time, they also learned important facts about nutrition and practiced planning their daily meals in a healthy way.
Stay tuned for our VA youths’ adventures as they continue to broaden their horizons this summer!