By Antwoine Johnson, AALEAD Staff
Photos Courtesy of AALEAD Staff & Interns
Two weeks ago, we had our final week of AALEAD’s MD Summer Kinect program. What a program we had this summer! This year was made extra special by the fact that AALEAD was able to serve 85 students! We were able to give our youth many opportunities to experience new things they otherwise may not have had a chance to. Youth went to the Comedy Spot to learn improvisation skills, learned and discussed mental health issues, and climbed the outdoor walls at the University of Maryland, College Park.
The final week, however, was full of more laughs and more tears, as we all realized that things were winding down. We started with a review of the things that we learned over the summer. The students expressed and shared these things through song, dance, or poetry. AALEAD students showed a real mastery of expression themselves. We wrapped up Summer Kinect with a closing ceremony and a trip to Six Flags, which was the best way to end the program–on a high note!
Personally, I was awestruck and humbled by the amount our youth have grown since day one. I have seen our middle school youth come out of their shells and AALEAD high school youth stepped up to be real role models and leaders for their middle school counter parts. It leaves me with a sense of pride also, as more than once, they attributed it to what they learned during programs.
All in all, summer was a real eye-opener for a lot of people and a great way to get energized for the new year, where we expect to see even more growth within AALEAD.