B-SAFE’s motto “Feel Safe, Feel Big, Feel Connected”, permeates every aspect of the program including Academics. Teaching specialists are committed to providing a safe space for young people to take academic risks and explore new things. Teaching specialists also ensure that all young people feel big by accomplishing small assignments that are the skeleton to a big final project that connects them to their current communities and the future they would like to create.
These amazing teaching specialists came together on Friday, July 8th to discuss the work they are doing with young people and to adjust their teaching to meet the needs of the individuals they are working with. The timing of this workshop added a layer of understanding for why the work we are doing is so important. The week was the week of the murder of Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, and 5 Dallas police officers. As the national news cycled through whose lives matter we discussed that our youth’s lives matter and the work that we do with them might not shield them from the broader atrocities of the world but it can empower them to navigate the social issues that entrap our nation. “We have the opportunity to create the future and decide what that’s like.” We hope to empower them to create the future where we can all “Feel Safe, Feel Big, and Feel Connected.”
By Kemarah Sika, Director of Academic Programs
Kemarah rejoined the St. Stephen’s community as the Director of Academic Programs in 2016. In the past, she served as a member of the B-SAFE team in a variety of capacities including Teaching Specialist, Site Director, and parent of a participant. Most recently, she was the Director of Library & Media Service and the Learning Experience Designer at the Cambridge School of Weston, a 9-12 progressive education school. She has worked in K-12 education since 2001 in many roles including libraries, technology integration, after-school programming, and curriculum development. Kemarah is delighted to bring her experience to St. Stephen’s Youth Programs in a full time capacity and to have the opportunity to work in her community to serve the youth of Boston.