AmeriCorps VISTA Member at STEM Education Center Deepens Partnerships with Worcester Community | Announcements | New

The STEM Education Center continues to host AmeriCorps Campus Compact VISTA members to build WPI’s capacity to partner with community organizations to provide engaging STEM / STEAM opportunities, especially for students at K-12 Worcester Public School. Jovietthe Ramos, AmeriCorps VISTA member at the Center, has spent this academic year interacting with several non-profit organizations that serve K-12 students during a particularly grueling year of distance learning ( and remote work for Jovietthe).

Inspired and motivated to follow the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Jovietthe is dedicated to pursuing a career in public service in America. This is his second year with AmeriCorps. The previous year, Jovietthe worked at the Chelsea Collaborative and led English as a Second Language (ESL) courses. Her keen interest in public service, public policy and community development has enriched her career and experience as an illustrator in visual design. His artistic talent is reflected in his recent painting inspired by his work in STEAM education.

Jovietthe’s VISTA project is to build a sustainable STEM / STEAM outreach infrastructure for WPI volunteers, including students in the Teacher Preparation program, to work effectively in the Worcester community with different non-profit organizations in a way consistent. His project also aims to increase the volunteer base at WPI itself.

With COVID Forcing K-12 Tuition Online, Jovietthe Created The Virtual, Live, Convenient STEAM Set program for students of community organizations (CBOs) and at home. Guided by WPI volunteers as presenters, this bi-weekly program provided K-12 students with fun and engaging design challenges with their peers. Several programs during the fall and spring seasons were hosted by WPI’s engineering ambassadors, and activities included wrapping crispy snacks, designing ziplines, and creating prosthetic stuffed animals.

The expected outcomes of the VISTA project are K-12 students with improved academic engagement and socio-emotional skills, organizations receiving capacity building services, and WPI volunteers recruited to serve in the Worcester community. Most of the K-12 students affected were middle-schoolers from Worcester Public Schools through the Latino Education Institute (LEI) and the YMCA’s Teen Program. To ensure access to hands-on STEAM programs, Jovietthe also provided assistance in collecting supplies and delivering them to community organizations.

Additionally, Jovietthe supported a primary school learning center at LEI with tutoring and STEAM activities. Jovietthe also set up the STEAM Achievers program for the YMCA central branch, in collaboration with Professor Suzanne Weekes. This virtual program was designed for teens to have informal conversations with STEM professionals and students about their work, their passions and the paths they have taken. Topics included WPI undergraduate research, Army research, Air Force humanitarian aid efforts, and career exploration in the Peace Corps and AmeriCorps.

Most recently, Jovietthe leveraged its relationships with community-based youth-serving organizations to coordinate around 100 supply kits for hands-on activities associated with Touch tomorrow. She provided materials to four different local nonprofits for experiences their young people might not have had otherwise.

Jovietthe wishes to continue supporting and training volunteers in civic engagement through AmeriCorps programs to reduce poverty and have a positive impact on the lives of children, families and communities.

LEI

Deepen the partnership with the Latino Education Institute through tutoring and the STEAM Together program.

BGC

Youth supply kits drop off at the Boys & Girls Club in Fitchburg / Leominster to participate in TouchTomorrow.

Margarita B. Bittner

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