Going high by building up our city

The theme of program this summer was “When they go low, we go high”. There are many ways that this theme can be interpreted. The youth at B-SAFE San Lucas took this theme to heart as they worked on their final projects in Humanities. They looked at their community and thought of ways that they could make it better. They worked in teams, thought of components that were missing in Chelsea, and then got to work.

They drafted and designed plans for a proposed construction project. They used recycled materials to build their models. For days they gathered materials from our site and brought recycled materials from home. They looked at an empty box of cereal and saw a lot more than that. Or an empty egg carton and their imagination let loose on the beauty that they could create from it. Things began to progress on their models with the sounds of gluing, duck taping, cutting cardboard, and even hammering being heard upstairs at San Lucas.

We then had the opportunity go on a field trip to MIT and enter their urban planning lab where we saw real life advanced technology versions of what they had been working on all summer. They saw models of the Kendall square using real life data from the everyday technology used by people in the community. They were amazed, impressed, but most of all inspired.

Back we went for the last week of program, and with the inspiration from their field trip, work began on finalizing and modifications. Though making models out of recycled materials sounds challenging, it was not as hard as writing a proposal letter to the City Manager. Each group had the opportunity to write a letter to the City of Chelsea in which they explained their proposal and expressed why it would be good for the community. They applied their knowledge of using the written language learned this summer in class and go to work. The letters that wrote were inspirational with many taking encouragement from the words of the Disney Family in creating a place “where the young at heart of all ages can laugh and play and learn – together”. Their letters were just as inspiring.

That is how “we go high”. We give our youth a voice in which they know that they can make their communities better. We spark their imagination to create wonderful things. We give them the opportunity to be examples and create selfless things because at the end all they want is for everyone to feel the same childlike joy they feel in their hearts by going high.

By Mauryn Perkins, Site Manager at San Lucas

Mauryn Perkins has been with the B-SAFE program in Chelsea for eight summers. During the school year she is a 7th grade Spanish teacher at a charter school in Malden. She loves teaching children and loves all things Disney. In her spare time, you will find her organizing and planning her family adventures, especially to Disney Parks.

 YLC youth from st. Luke's at the urban development media lab at MIT. 

YLC youth from st. Luke's at the urban development media lab at MIT. 

 Dragons present their development proposal to the City Manager of a Chelsea.

Dragons present their development proposal to the City Manager of a Chelsea.