Summer 2014 Peer Mentorship Program
Written by Verena Kwan

This summer, APWC re-initiated our summer peer mentorship program. Our volunteer peer mentors were given the opportunity to meet with the youth living in our transitional shelter twice a week to discuss changes in our environment, healthy eating habits, reusing vegetables to recreate art, exploring different cultural practices, life skills discussions, and field trips that encouraged potential future careers. The curriculum was designed to initiate the discussion of various future careers and the global climate challenges our community currently faces.

The client’s favorite activity involved growing tomato sprouts under different conditions while learning to use the scientific method. Each child was challenged to hypothesize the different growth restrictions plants faced with deficient water supplies, deficient sunlight, poor soil nutrient, or growth in a healthy habitat. Clients monitored the growth of the plants and ended each session with an open Q&A.

summer2014 tomato plant
A tomato plant that received ideal growing conditions with both sunlight and water. 

Aside from learning about pesticide-free plant growth, our clients learned about California’s current drought, the strategic planning of grocery store layouts and health, and the significance of exercise in healthy behaviors. This program was led by two of our profound volunteers, Monica and Mirian, who continually show their commitment in service to our community.

Our youth also enjoyed exciting educational field trips this summer, including hiking in Griffith Park, swimming at a community pool and exploring the beach! 

Left: Vegetable and fruits were used as stamps to make the quilt squares. Right: Clients painted their very own rocks.
summer2014 vegpainting summer2014 rockpainting

Mobiles made by our youth clients using materials they found in nature during a hike. 
summer2014 mobile2 summer2014 mobile1