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  • Meisha Marshall

We are BOOST, A Transformative Journey

Written by Meisha Marshall, BACR Afterschool Coordinator

I would like to thank the BACR agency, for providing me another opportunity to experience another year at the Boost Conference. The energy of the BACR family was amazing and intentionally welcoming, the mingle meet and greet was so lovely and inspiring to witness BACR staff from all over the agency come together and have smiles on their faces, to hear laughter through the room, it brought community with purpose to why we do what we do as employees, but also highlights the work and support of the BACR agency as a whole!

As a middle school coordinator, there are not many opportunities that are available for me to learn from other middle school coordinators. As I was reading and choosing my boost schedule, I intentionally geared to the presenters bio’s that touched some of my values, along with the curiosity of me wanting to know more about the subject that was being delivered,also how the courses would be beneficial for me to take back to the Madison expanded learning team.  Either I was going to share a motivational story or bring back tools that I could implement into my program. I got both!

The first workshop was the Lego experience. I chose this workshop because my middle school youth had just completed putting together red long-stem roses, and plants created out of Legos. I had found something that they liked and were engaged in. Not only was Lego's STEM building but also created a community, by the youth working together. The Lego class at Boost provided examples of STEM projects, coding, and how to create different Lego designs. I was able to connect with the marketing director Diane, who walked me over to Jesse, the Lego representative for Oakland Legos. I look forward to connecting with Jesse and providing a Lego enrichment class for the middle schoolers.

The next day I attended the Boost film festival, and was inspired by the story of Clarrisa! Clarrisa Battle an Oakland native who brought action to the importance of childcare funding. Clarrisa fought to action for 10 years plus did not go in vain, that is why we have funding for our programs today, to offer t/k. I'm hoping I can bring this documentary to the attention of  many!

The last day was a proud and humble experience. At the same time, I attended the Tk/ boost workshop that was led by two managers of the BACR agency, Heather Spears and Na’Dra Hennington. I experienced a workshop that was colorful, engaging, hands-on, with giveaways, and questions asked by workshop participants. I witnessed no power points, no worksheets, no silence was felt in the room. Congratulations to the two of them for providing me the opportunity to support them, and work as a BACR team! 

I have already had a Pd with my staff, and shared out the boost experience and with stories of motivation, inspiring hands-on STEM, and what could make a difference in our program and how we are providing opportunities for our students to learn and grow.

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