CTC Youth Program Building

Friends of Tyler School
VISTA Name: 
Emily Fain
Program Start: 
Program End: 
Project Description: 

I. Maintain, organize and continue to upgrade program site

II. Implement an after-school computer literacy program for students

III. Help plan and implement a summer six-week academic day camp: Camp Cool

IV. Train FOTS Teachers, Tutors and Parents To More effectively Use CTC Educational Software

V. Train parents of FOTS students and other adult family members

VI. Develop public and private sector resources that will enable the project to continue after the Members leave.

VII. Manage donations to and from FOTS and other organizations

Project Outcome: 

Thirteen computers donated last summer and fall are to be used to replace older equipment. As of early March, eight new computers had been placed in the CTC and work was almost completed on setting them up for class use. The remaining five will replace older computers in the secondary labs; this work will begin when the CTC work is completed. Work has begun on 10 computers in the new FOTS building. Five of the Win98 computers from the CTC replaced older computers in the secondary lab on the ground floor, which is used as a homework center after school.

The VISTA helped the Program Director develop a schedule of after-school classes for the first and second semesters of this school year. Software was widely used in teaching academic classes

Open Lab was available every afternoon during the first semester and was supervised by the VISTA. There were no Open Lab activities offered. A few students used this time to complete their homework assignments.

A volunteer continued her third year of teaching Lego Robotics. The fall group prepared for and competed in the Virginia Lego Robotics competition in November.

Training/orientation of tutors to FOTS educational software has been postponed. Tutors will be encouraged to use this system to check out software and use programs to supplement their tutoring sessions.

A large TV monitor was placed in a small classroom with a computer and is currently being used by one teacher to help teach her class using a software program.

New grant possibilities identified by CTCnet were sent to the FOTS fundraisers, Kelly Williams and Ann Womeldorf to research in further detail.

Coalition for Asian Pacific American Youth (CAPAY)

Boston, MA

The Coalition for Asian Pacific American Youth (CAPAY) is a nationally-recognized, youth-led, pan-Asian organization, established in 1993, that provides culturally-responsive resources, critical education, and community-based advocacy/service-learning opportunities to strengthen the voices, leadership, and organizing capacities of Asian American youth within their schools, families, and communities. Initially established in response to racist violence in Boston high schools, CAPAY is administered as a project of the Asian American Studies Program at University of Massachusetts Boston with the mission of building leadership among Asian American high school students in the metro Boston area through the development and implementation of youth-led projects. We believe that youth united by a common cause can make a difference.

Project Description: 

The core mission of CAPAY itself is essentially to develop the capacity (knowledge, skills, voices, leadership) of Asian American youth to be pro-active and resourceful agents of positive change for their families, schools, and communities. This central capacity-building goal of CAPAY has not been so readily recognized or rewarded by funders who have neglected Asian American populations overall and focused on provider-client models of service delivery rather than capacity-building. Ann Philbin, whose 1996 quote is used in the CTC VISTA program guidelines, is a longstanding ally in our work, and we continue to value her contributions to the field. Our principles are informed by the literatures and best practices of youth and community development, but we also explicitly value our own indigenous cultural sources. Familiar Chinese poems, for example, advise: “Don’t be seduced by the moment; fight for what will have value in a thousand years” and “if you give a hungry person a bowl of rice, s/he can eat for a day; if you teach her how to plant and harvest rice, s/he can eat for a lifetime.” These cultural reference points related maintaining a long-term view and investing in training/education rather than charity/service exemplify how we understand capacity-building.

We have been implementing a media justice project that originally targeted Vietnamese American youth in Dorchester who were already involved with youth service programs offered by agencies in the community. Unexpectedly, however, the two primary Vietnamese American community groups in Boston — the Vietnamese American Civic Association (VACA) and Viet-AID — confronted organizational crises during August-September, resulting in lay-offs, budget cuts, and staffing/board shifts. This left the Vietnamese community with little organizational capacity for youth services, and forced CAPAY to re-focus our own priority on direct youth organizing. Originally, we had intended to partner with VACA and Viet-AID in producing relevant youth media for the local Vietnamese community. Without the structure/support of VACA and Viet-AID, however, we have devoted significant time to reach local Vietnamese American youth and connect them to CAPAY’s youth media programming. This sudden loss of organizational/institutional capacity in the Vietnamese community had many important implications beyond simply affecting CAPAY’s plans for project collaboration, but it provided a valuable lesson regarding the necessity to stabilize our own organizational infrastructure in order to ensure3 the viability of our priority projects.

We intend to expand our media justice-related programming and project work with more direct linkages to youth organizing, and have identified other potential community collaborations while also communicating our continuing interest in working with Viet-AID and VACA. However, given these changing conditions in the local community, combined with the enormous effect of the national/global economic crisis on low-income, immigrant/refugee families, and the parallel reduction of grant resources for the community, CAPAY has held a series of strategic planning discussions with stakeholders during the past six months. Though still underway, consensus has emerged regarding the following goals for organizational development:

1. Maintain programmatic commitments to youth organizing, leadership development, and expression through expressive media justice projects and educational empowerment workshops/symposia.
2. Expand CAPAY’s financial base, including earned income, donations, and grant development.
3. Activate and mobilize CAPAY’s alumni network to provide increased/ongoing resources.
4. Initiate and nurture long-term organizational partnerships in addition to shorter-term project-based collaborations.
5. Make fuller use of Web 2.0 tools to support and streamline organizational communications, mapping of organizational assets (including alumni networking), and outreach/promotion.

CAPAY also received expanded support from the UMass Boston Asian American Studies Program that will continue for an additional two years — enabling CAPAY’s coordinator, Tri Quach, to provide stable overall leadership and direction to the organization and its programming. This is a significant enhancement of CAPAY’s infrastructure, consistent with the longer-term goal of organizational development.

Project Tangibles: 
We look forward to generating tangible products or resources that can be shared or adapted by others. Though this will depend heavily on the specific skills and interests of the VISTA member, we envision some possible products as: • templates for grant proposals and relevant promotional materials; • examples of Asian American youth/community issues/assets maps created and made accessible through Web 2.0 tools; • narrative and visual documentation (written or digital) of CAPAY alumni perspectives; We would be interested in participating/sharing lessons and products with others in person or online through workshops and conferences or webinairs.
Transmission Project