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Spring into College Tour 2008
By Jaleesa and Jean, New York Jeter's Leaders Members since 2006
Next up was a tour of Emory University. While on campus, the Leaders participated in a scavenger hunt that allowed them to interact with the students on campus, while learning the history of the school and having fun. The scavenger hunt allowed the group the opportunity to enter the buildings and speak to a diverse group of people while trying to find the information for the hunt. The final tour was of Tuskegee University, which was more of a history lesson for the majority of the group. It was an inspiring experience in which they were able to learn about the historic events that took place on campus. While at the George Washington Carver Museum, which is located on campus, the Leaders were able to watch a video that explained in detail the contributions that George Washington Carver and Booker T. Washington made to Tuskegee.
Afterwards, the Leaders headed back to the hotel to wash up for dinner. The Leaders were treated to a five-course dinner at the famous Italian restaurant, Maggianos, where they were able to practice their etiquette skills learned earlier during the year.
Overall, the college tour in Atlanta was an educational experience for the Jeter's Leaders. While on the campus tours, they were able to interact with students, witness first-hand the feel of classrooms, recreational centers and the overall college experience that many of the Leaders will soon have to face. The Jeter's Leaders members were very grateful for this experience and would like to thank the Turn 2 Foundation for providing them with the experience that many students are not exposed to.
Leaders learn about financial literacy
By Nazir, Jeter's Leaders Member since 2007
On Saturday, April 12, 2008, Emelia "Emily" Pagan introduced herself to the Jeter's Leaders at the Chelsea Recreation Center. She has been a customer service representative with Commerce Bank since September 2005. Emily works well with children, which encouraged her to become a certified "WOW! Zone" instructor. In a nutshell, the "WOW! Zone" is a completely free financial education program that helps students develop various financial skills and become "financially literate" throughout life. The question of the day was, "Are you financially literate?"
Emily helped the Leaders delve into the word of finance. She stated that she was going to teach us about budgeting and checking accounts. The truth was that writing a check was much harder than it seemed. She started her lesson by asking the Leaders basic questions such as, "What are monthly household costs?" There was electric, gas, food, repairs, and mortgage/rent.
Emily had efficiently portrayed the process of writing checks and introduced many of us to the financial world. The Leaders now felt they had a great sum of knowledge that could be applicable to the real world.
Library opening an inspiration
By Jordan, Jeter's Leaders Member since 2005
On Wednesday March 26, 2008, the Jeter's Leaders, along with the Sorrentino After School program, celebrated the opening of the "Jeter's Readers Library"; an important stepping stone for the success of children and future leaders. To kick off the opening, Kevin Jeffrey, the Commissioner for Public Programs, told the children that without them, all of this would not be possible. They should value and hold dear the gracious gifts that their parents and their community can provide because they are being given an opportunity to excel and achieve in life. The Jeter Family also helped by donating Derek's favorite books to the library's collection.
Next, Sharlee Jeter introduced herself to the students and presented them with two items. One was a collage with Derek and the children of Sorrentino with the "Jeter's Reader's Library" logo and the second was a poster of Derek's "10 Life Lessons". Then, Sharlee welcomed the Leaders to read from Derek's book, "The Life You Imagine," where the 10 Life Lessons originate. Three readings from various chapters of the book were read in order to inspire the children to set goals for themselves and to follow their dreams.
As entertainment for the evening, a Japanese music group known as the NY de Volunteer, performed numerous ancient drumming pieces that incorporated today's modern dance moves. The presentation was well-received by the entire audience. The group visits each of Turn 2's After School programs for eight weeks to discuss Japanese culture.
The opening of the library symbolizes a new beginning and an inspiration to maintain a united community. This allows its residents to prosper and become positive role models for the leaders of the future. Being able to be part of something that will impact the life of a child and to see their facial expressions, is something the Leaders will carry with them forever.
The opening of the library re-emphasized our mission statement and what we believe. It also motivated us to continue to empower others through social change.
Learning about community dynamics
By Smiley, Jeter's Leaders Member since 2007
On Saturday March 15, 2008, Tracy Leary, the Director of Strategic Partnerships and External Initiatives at the Department of Education's Community Learning Support Organization, spoke to the Leaders about community dynamics and how it affects everyone. She began by asking a simple question, "Which do you believe is more influential and powerful; organized people or organized money?" The answers were anything but simple, and there were mixed emotions among the Leaders. Tracy's answer was that while she believes that organized money is excellent, organized people is what really holds the power.
Tracy spoke of an eye opening experience she had in which people in Chicago were losing their homes because they did not read their contracts carefully. This problem is repeatedly being reported across the nation. Homeowners seek help in order to prevent them from losing their homes, but turn into easy targets for loan predators that take advantage of their situations.
While helping these homeowners, Tracy discovered that the contracts were fraudulent scams. In the end she was able to help save their homes, but emphasized that if not used properly, money can be more powerful than people.
She then addressed issues the Leaders thought were important to them and suggested how to approach the problem and act on it. She mentioned that some problems that arise in a community are not tended to properly. She explained how some people speak up, but do nothing to address the matter. She motivated the Leaders to be proactive and not just complain about problems. She reinforced that people need to seek a solution. Tracy influenced the Leaders to change the way they think and to take action; not just to complain about the problem.
After the meeting with Tracy, the Leaders felt that they had a voice and have the ability to make a change. They also felt that they had acquired the skills to organize themselves to create a positive difference.
Trip to the nation's capital
By Nicolette, Jeter's Leaders Member since 2004
Our trip began early on February 18, 2008 as we set off from the Turn 2 Foundation office in New York City to our destination of Washington, D.C. We were excited to be a part of this experience because a lot of the Leaders had never been to Washington, D.C before. Because we had heard from our fellow Leaders about what they had done last year in the nation's capital, the newer members were naturally looking forward to what we might see.
As soon as we pulled into D.C., we were driven to our first destination: Howard University. We began our walking tour of the African-American Civil War School. Our tour was led by the Howard freshman Tysheka Burks. Many of us had met Tysheka at the Summer Leadership Conference in Chicago in 2006. She worked as a representative for the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, Kentucky, and was recognized at the conference for being a dynamic leader. She guided us through the large campus and explained to us the benefits of the university's libraries and sports fields. After answering our questions about the school, we proceeded to our second destination, Georgetown University, the Jesuit school. There, we were greeted by our former peer and Jeter's alumnus from the class of 2006, Jason Hathaway, in addition to Mother Nature's favorite -- the rain. Our tour guide took us through the sprawling campus of Georgetown in the unfortunate weather and explained to us the dorm life, places a student can most benefit in studying, and the importance of managing one's time as a student.
After the tour, we left to check into our hotel. The rain prohibited us from enjoying a few hours of shopping on the Georgetown strip, so we prepared for the surprise of the trip, a fun bonding experience at Lucky Strikes Bowling. There, we bowled, took pictures, laughed and enjoyed each other's company. We ended the night on a happy note as we celebrated the birthday of fellow Leader.
On our second day, we woke up early and promptly set out to our major part of the trip, which was visiting the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the National Institute of Alcohol and Alcoholism (NIAAA). There we split up into two groups, the members who had already visited the NIAAA last year and the members who had not. My group, which had not yet made the visit, enjoyed a two hour ride to the animal facilities of the NIAAA where we were greeted with a presentation about the effects of alcohol on the brain. We took notes on the parts of the body that are most affected by alcohol. We also found how certain age groups, such as teens, are affected by alcohol and how alcoholism is a major problem in America. We also learned that alcoholism can be determined by both genetics and the environment.
After the presentation, we participated in a hands-on experiment where each Leader was given a chance to walk through an obstacle course built of desks and chairs. The Leaders each wore both day-vision and night-vision goggles that simulated how a person sees when he or she is under the influence of alcohol.
The experiment led to an overview of the ongoing research the NIAAA team has been conducting to find what alcoholism is really caused by and how it affects the development of behavior and the brain. To do this, the team used colonies of small monkeys called macaques, which they study for changes in behavior once alcohol is added to their bodies. One of the most rewarding and memorable experiences for the Leaders was to be able to see a baby macaque up close and to see and learn about the actual monkeys in their colonies. We left the animal facilities of the NIAAA with new knowledge about the creatures that share this planet. As we met up with the other group of Leaders, we knew we all had learned something exciting.
We ended our evening with a walk through the important monuments; from the statue of a very austere Abraham Lincoln, to the granite walls filled with thousands of engraved names of those who bravely fought and died in the Vietnam War. We were hit close to home as we looked through the book bearing the names of the soldiers of the war and found that many of our last names were present, almost proving the fact that inevitably we had had relatives involved somehow.
As we enjoyed a group run across the grass to the bus, we began our trip back home to New York. We remembered the time we shared together and as on every trip before that, we know we have grown closer.
Money managaging mentors
By Nicholas, Jeter's Leaders Member since 2006
Many of the Jeter's Leaders attended St. John's After School Program on Wednesday, February 13, 2008 to teach the younger students about managing money. In interactive demonstrations, the 10-year-olds were given an allowance of money to spend on a variety of toys, clothes and candy. Many of the children wanted to buy things they couldn't afford. When they realized that they didn't have enough money, they spent the money frivolously on cheaper things to get rid of it.
The Jeter's Leaders offered the option of saving money for their long term goals. They suggested opening bank accounts where the money grows up to six percent through interest. The students grasped this concept and were eager to start saving.
The students also learned to buy items that they need rather than buying everything that they want. This is an important skill for a child to learn because handling responsibility and prioritizing allows them to spend their money more efficiently. When given specific scenarios about choosing how to spend their money, many students chose to buy video games rather than pay a bill. They learned that these spending habits often land people into serious debt.
This presentation showed the importance of saving money. To help the kids start saving for their future investments, they also were given Commerce Bank piggy banks.
The Jeter's Leaders definitely engaged and connected with the kids, who responded well to the activities and the message was sent that it is important to save money. At the end, the children realized how to spend money on things they need and how to save for the things they want.
Going fashionably green
By Sonille, Jeter's Leaders Member since 2007
On February 2, 2008, the Jeter's Leaders visited the SIFE program at the Laboratory Institute of Merchandising (LIM Fashion College) to work on an eco-friendly project surrounding business and fashion. SIFE is a college group that competes on a national level through various business oriented projects and social change efforts. The SIFE program concentrates on five areas: market economics, success skills, entrepreneurship, financial literacy, and business ethics.
Once the Leaders arrived, they were introduced to the students and presidents of SIFE. The SIFE group then gave the Leaders a tour of the college. The Leaders were able to see a college economics and merchandising class in action!
After the tour the Leaders performed a trivia icebreaker, about the SIFE program's themes including fashion, ecological facts, and business skills. Through that activity, the Leaders learned a lot about common problems and the need for going green and recycling. After that the Leaders split up into groups of four. Each group worked on creating the prototype of an eco-friendly store.
The Leaders were encouraged to consider the products that they would sell and the packaging. They also thought about the business aspect of decorating the store to follow suit with the "green" theme and advertising. Then the Leaders brainstormed ideas about stores that sold organic compounds only. The Leaders also designed recyclable and reusable tote bags to combat the problem of plastic bags. Each group had a student from SIFE to work with the Leaders. They only had two hours to work on the projects before entering them into competition.
The Leaders presented their ideas to the rest of the group on poster boards that they decorated with magazine clippings that inspired them. Some of the groups sold books made from organic paper, organic clothing, and organic food. The winning project received gift card for Barnes and Nobles. The Leaders learned many valuable lessons about the environment and the business world.
First aid training a lifesaver
By Divina, Jeter's Leaders Member since 2007
On Saturday, January 12, 2008, the New York Jeter's Leaders were offered the opportunity to become certified by the American Red Cross in CPR and First Aid. During the seven hour training, the Jeter's Leaders prepared for the certification exams. First Aid Training booklets and demonstration packages were distributed by the American Red Cross staff.
A video was played which portrayed different conditions and what should be done during such situations. For example, the different types of muscle, bone, and joint injuries; how one would be able to identify them and how they should be cared for in an emergency? Other conditions -- such as foot injuries, leg injuries, hand and finger injuries, rib and breastbone fractures, open fractures, head, neck and back injuries -- were explained and showed how to care for.
After the lecture, the New York Jeter's Leaders test showcased their new skills by demonstrating how to care for a fractured arm. They paired up, and attempted to put their skills to the test. Although some had difficulty at first, everyone proved to have fully paid attention to the presentation and showed that they were completely capable of performing First Aid in an emergency situation.
Following the demonstration, the lesson continued and everyone again prepared to learn something new. Our next lesson consisted of the care of sudden illnesses. The Leaders learned what should be done during the following unexpected emergencies: fainting; diabetic emergency; seizures; strokes; chemical poisoning; animal bites; and exposure to poisonous plants. We listened to the American Red Cross staff explain other situations and what should be done to prevent such tragedies from happening.
Lastly, we continued to watch another video which was based on heat and cold-related emergencies. We first learned about different types of heat-related emergencies such as heat cramps, heat exhaustion, heat strokes, and so on. We were then taught how to care for such emergencies and moved on to cold-related emergencies. In this lesson, we learned of the power of the cold and what it is capable of doing to our bodies if not properly prepared for. We saw different cases which included hypothermia and frostbite. We were then taught the signals of each and how to care for both frostbite and hypothermia.
After the lesson, we proceeded into taking a test in order to become certified. Everyone gladly completed their test and went on to receive their certification. It was a great experience and everyone excitedly went home to share their achievement with their families.
Healthy lifestyle is the best lifestyle
By Emani, Jeter's Leaders Member since 2006
At the start of every year, many vow to begin living a new, healthy lifestyle. However, realistically, it is difficult to maintain these ideals without the proper knowledge of balance in our diet. It is harder to stop eating foods and stop drinking liquids we know are not good for our bodies if we do not know why they make us unhealthy. We often overlook the damage that we do to our bodies by neglecting to read nutrition labels, but Donna Tinnerello brought our attention to the serious matter. On December 1, 2007, the Jeter's Leaders witnessed firsthand how lethal fast foods and other unhealthy edible substances can be.
Donna Tinnerello is a certified American Dietician Association (ADA) and New York State dietician, as well as a nutritionist. She has much experience in her particular career field, such as working in numerous hospitals in New York City and raising health awareness in colleges, including NYU and Hunter College -- both in New York City.
Even before she spoke, the Leaders were mesmerized by her incredible energy. She distributed food pyramid charts organized in sections labeled "Grains, Vegetables, Fruits, Milk, Meat and Beans." This chart not only told us how much of each group we should be eating but gave healthy alternatives. For instance, lactose intolerant people who can not consume milk could choose other lactose-free products while receiving the same benefits of dairy.
I speak for the majority of my fellow Leaders when I say we were not at all prepared for what was coming next. As the No. 1 consumers of fast foods including McDonalds, Burger King and KFC, we were all disgusted and disappointed in the nutrition report regarding these famous restaurants. When Tinnerello passed out charts analyzing the nutrition breakdowns of our favorite selections from the various fast-food chains, we realized that we had no idea how many chemicals and how much grease and cholesterol we were ingesting. Just when we were all giving up hope that we would never be able to eat fast food and remain healthy, Tinnerelllo saved the day when she told us that there is one main healthy "junk food" that we can eat: pizza! Pizza has just the right amount of natural components that are healthy and simultaneously delicious. Yet there was another surprise awaiting us. Since soda is (usually) ridiculously unhealthy, Ms. Tinnerello made an alternative natural drink that tasted like soda pop. In an activity, we squeezed oranges into a bowl of sugar-free grape juice and seltzer. Although we were scared to try the imposter "soda", we really liked it when we drank it.
It was hard saying goodbye to Donna Tinnerello. We had an amazing time, and in the process, we each took something very valuable from our experience that we can pass onto our peers. We also learned that inevitably we will make unhealthy diet decisions because of time constraints or availability. However, it is all right to eat fatty foods every once in a while, as long as we stay in control and exhibit discipline.
Global impact mentoring at Turn 2's Jackie Robinson Center
By Adina, New York Jeter's Leaders Member
On November 28, 2007, the New York Jeter's Leaders attended a mentoring activity at the Jackie Robinson Recreation Center in Harlem. Jackie Robinson is one of the four after-school programs of the Turn 2 Foundation. A group of Jeter's Leaders hosted a presentation on the impact of immigration, terrorism and racial profiling across the globe. The group did various educational and interactive activities with the students of the Turn 2 after-school site.
The first activity that the Leaders did with the children dealt with racial profiling. The Leaders asked several questions revolving around stereotypes and their implications. The young audience tried to figure out which of the Leaders listened to different types of music, played different sports and spoke different languages based on stereotypes. Because of the diversity of interests within the group, the students did not always correctly classify their subjects. The moral of the activity was that a person cannot judge a book by its cover and cannot judge a person based on their looks.
The next activity taught the students about terrorism. The Leaders showed pictures of various acts of terrorism and spoke about terrorist situations. The Leaders then taught the lesson that stereotyping and racial profiling are not ways to end terrorism, although they are common practices.
The last activity taught the kids about immigration and that America was built on immigration, further, that almost every person at some point in their history had migrated from another country to this one. The Leaders showed pictures of popular people in history, entertainment and fashion that the students would recognize and explained that they were immigrants. The event ended by students drawing flags of the countries that they came from.
Avon Foundation -- DYDC Office to Combat Domestic Violence
In life, we all strive for the perfect relationship with people we care about. Inside our families, we all secretly wish everything was picture perfect. On November 3, 2007, the Avon Foundation presented the Jeter's Leaders with a domestic violence workshop from the DYDC office.
In this workshop we learned the differences between healthy and unhealthy relationships, whether it be with our family or with our partners. The Jeter's Leaders learned valuable information that we can relay to all relationships we will have in the future.
The workshop presenters engaged us with creative group activities that helped us define different types of relationships. In the handouts they gave us, we learned the pros of a healthy relationship and the many cons of a non healthy relationship. DYCD conveyed the importance of equality between partners and how to speak up if you are not happy in the relationship you're in.
The workshop closed with a creative skit done by the Jeter's Leaders about a situation that could occur in an abusive relationship. In this activity, we saw how easy it is to be put into danger by an abusive partner. Group members played the role of close friends who may or may not be supportive about the abuse in the relationship. This last activity was extremely important because it portrayed real life situations and different ways that you can handle this situation.
One thing that this workshop made very clear to me, as well as my fellow Jeter's Leaders is that help for physical, verbal and mental domestic abuse is available. Whether it is you or a friend that is stuck in an abusive relationship, there are many tips and help lines available to aid any person in need.
Thanks to the Avon Foundation and the DYCD office, every Jeter's Leader can now build healthy relationships throughout the rest of our lives.
Community Dynamics with Matt McCartin
By Alexis, Jeter's Leaders Member since 2005
On Saturday, Oct. 27, 2008, NYPD Officer, Matt McCartin came in to speak with the New York Jeter's Leaders. Late as I was, I stepped in through the double door and noticed everyone's attention focused on a tall figure standing in the middle of the room. Within five seconds of studying this peculiar character, I established through his mannerisms, formalities and idiosyncratic movements that he was a police officer. I labeled him as a robot, unable to coexist with society unless performing his given task. As I sat down, I wondered his purpose for being there and I hoped that it wouldn't be a monotonous sermon preaching for us not to join gangs.
Interestingly enough his presentation captivated me and put me on the other side of the barrel, connecting me on a human and emotional level. He spoke candidly with us about things he has seen during his time as a New York City cop. Never before had I considered a cop's perspective. I soon realized that my initial label of Officer McCartin as a stereotypical "robot" was a mistaken notion. I realized that, with every moment of duty, his life is at stake and he serves the people by protecting us. After listening to his words, I learned that cops do not approach people to start trouble. They are often afraid of how the people they approach will react. The tension and distress that many people produce towards cops creates hostility and makes the situation viable for violence.
Thanks to Officer Matt McCartin, the Jeter's Leaders are better equipped to handle situations where they may need the help of a police officer. In return, we are able to advocate for the respect that cops deserve.
Turn 2 Basketball clinics at P.S. 128
By Nicholas, Jeter's Leaders Member since 2006
On Saturday, October 20, 2007, several Jeter's Leaders volunteered at P.S. 128's Turn 2 basketball clinic. P.S. 128 participates in the Turn 2 Us and Jeter Meter programs, both of which are sponsored by the Turn 2 Foundation. The participants went to health and diet workshops and played basketball to understand physical and mental health. An Olympic athlete gave a speech promoting healthy lifestyles and the importance of a well-balanced diet and habits.
The children went to a workshop led by a nutritionist who taught them about the food pyramid and the importance of eating breakfast and drinking water. They were told to stay away from sodas and drinks with a lot of sugar and to eat well-balanced meals. They were also encouraged to eat a lot of vegetables and integrate fiber into their diet.
Another workshop gave the students tips to relieve stress through breathing activities. The students learned about the causes of stress and how to pinpoint the causes of various stresses. Many children and teens feel stressed when they have to interact with adults or take tests. They were challenged to get at least eight hours of sleep every night because well-rested people are less affected by stress and are better equipped to handle these issues.
In the basketball workshop, students learned the fundamentals of dribbling, passing and shooting. It exposed the children to a new hobby while teaching them the importance of physical activity and fitness. The students really enjoyed it!
This was a great activity for the Jeter's Leaders to bond with the younger students, which reinforces the mission of the Turn 2 Foundation to lead healthy lifestyles. The Jeter's Leaders learned many important life skills that support the ten pillars of leadership that the program was built on including, Having a Positive Attitude, Communication and Leading a Healthy Lifestyle.
New York Jeter's Leaders "New Jersey College Visit"
By Olivia, Erica & Samantha, Jeter's Leaders Members since 2006
On October 8, 2007, the New York Jeter's Leaders went on a college visit in New Jersey. The Leaders visited Seton Hall University and Rutgers University. At both colleges the Leaders were given an information session by admissions counselors and a tour of each campus. The goal was to expose the Leaders to atmospheres at different colleges and universities.
The first stop was Seton Hall University. A current sophomore from the school led the group on a tour of the campus. The students were able to see an actual dorm room and multiple classrooms! After the tour, the Leaders had an information session given a representative from the admissions office to answer questions about Seton Hall. Students learned that Seton Hall University is a Division One Catholic School. They have 17 NCAA (National College Athletic Association) Division One sport teams. Division One sports are the highest demanding sports level in college and most professional athletes come from Division One athletic teams. Leaders also learned that Seton Hall is not all about sports. It is a very competitive school offering more than sixty majors and minors. The Leaders were amazed that Seton Hall is a completely wireless campus; you can be anywhere on the campus and stay connected to the school network and the internet! They also have 26 Greek societies and over 100 student organizations keeping Seton Hall's students extremely involved on the campus. The Leaders were enthusiastic about the school spirit that Seton Hall had; the students at Seton Hall believe that if you step on the school logo in the center of the campus on the University Green that you will not graduate on time.
Next, the Jeter's Leaders visited Rutgers, home of the Scarlet Knight. They ate at the University cafeteria to experience the freedom to eat as a college student. After lunch, the group was given an information session about the school. There was a special surprise! Two of the women's basketball players; Brittany Ray and Heather Zurich came to meet the group! This was an awesome experience because they gave the Leaders insight into balancing schoolwork, athletics and social time. They stressed just how important time management is in college. After we talked to the to basketball players, we spoke to Tiquan Underwood, a star player for the college's football team who happened to be from New York City. The Leaders enjoyed this because they could relate to him since he was from their home of New York. Every Rutgers student-athlete that met with the Jeter's Leaders had all positive things to say; not only about the sports programs, but for academics as well. Afterwards, to see the important buildings on campus and to learn about what goes on in each, a Rutgers' student led a bus-tour of the campus. Finally there was a short walking tour of the main campus where the guide told the group about the historic rivalry between Princeton and Rutgers. The group also saw the campus chapel, where the waiting list to get married there is almost five years long.
All of the Jeter's Leaders enjoyed the trip to Seton Hall and Rutgers!
New York Jeter's Leaders Jury Duty Appreciation Day
On September 12th 2007, the New York Jeter's Leaders were invited to represent the next generation of jurors at the United States Postal Service's unveiling of the Jury Duty Social Awareness Stamp. The event was held at the New York Supreme Court in Manhattan. The commemorative postage stamp was designed to call attention to the importance of jury duty. New York State Chief Judge, Judith S. Kaye co-hosted the ceremony with Senior Vice President and General Counsel of the Postal Service, Mary Ann Gibbons. Also on hand to acknowledge the significance of jury service and to participate in the dedication, was WABC-TV anchor Sade Baderinwa, mistress of ceremonies; Robert Grey, former President of the American Bar Association; and a group of nationally known celebrities who have performed jury service in New York.
As special guest, the Leaders were recognized for their efforts in the community. The Leaders also took a lot of valuable information away from the event. They learned how the jury duty process works and the importance of the right to a fair trial. Diandra, a member of the Jeter's Leaders Program since 2005 said, "I gained a better appreciation for jurors; seeing just how important, demanding and difficult their jobs really are."
New York Jeter's Leaders Annual Teambuilding Retreat
By Amina, Jeter's Leader Member since 2006
On Friday, August 17, 2007, the New York Jeter's Leaders embarked on their Annual Teambuilding Retreat. The goal of the retreat is for all newly inducted Leaders and current Leaders to bond and get to know each other in a multi-day, overnight trip. This year they spent three days at the Greenkill Retreat Center in Huguenot, New York. Despite the rainy weather and Friday afternoon traffic, the group departed from New York City at 6:30 p.m. and arrived at the camp-site around 9:00 p.m. Upon arrival, the Leaders settled into their cabin and enjoyed pizza and soda together. After dinner all of the Leaders participated in "icebreaker games" to ease the freshmen into the group and get the rest of the group reacquainted from the summer long break.
Saturday was jam-packed with teambuilding and bonding activities. It began with breakfast in the Mess Hall around 8:00 a.m. The group then divided into smaller sections to complete obstacle courses and teambuilding activities. The activities were centered on communication, trust, cooperation, and teamwork. It was difficult for some of the Leaders to put themselves in a position where they had to trust other Leaders. Although these activities tested the Leader's thinking and communicating skills, they were a big help in building a stronger team. After the activities, the Leaders enjoyed lunch again in the Mess Hall.
Afterwards, they then spent an hour canoeing in the lake. Each canoe was filled with three or four Leaders that worked together to row. By the end of the hour they had learned to steer, change directions and row quickly. This activity strengthened the communication that the Leaders learned earlier in the day. It also helped build trust because the passengers in the middle of the canoe did not have paddles. The middle passengers then had to trust that the rowers on the outside knew what they were doing and would transport them safely.
Tired from the long day but excited to continue, the Leaders went back to the cabin to prepare to go hiking. The hiking began on an easy trail and which got more challenging very quickly. Many of the Leaders wanted to quit, but with the support and encouragement from the other Leaders, everyone kept going and made it to the top. When they reached the top, the camp counselors started a fire and roasted marshmallows to celebrate their feat.
After dinner, the group retreated back to the cabin where the staff went over the new rules and goals for this program year up to the National Youth Leadership Summer Conference in 2008. The Leaders gave input on the way they would like to see the program evolve in the long and short-term timeframes. After the discussion, the group went on a nature walk around the lake and worked together to build a fire to make s'mores. After all the marshmallows were toasted and the area was cleaned up, the group headed back to the cabin. The Leaders spend the rest of the evening playing card games such as Uno and Crazy Eights.
On Sunday, the group began discussing the plans for the National Youth Leadership Summer Conference and split themselves into eight different workshop committees. The eight small groups brainstormed about what they planned to present in their workshops. Leaders then presented their ideas back to the entire group.
Overall, the retreat set the tone for the upcoming program year. By the end, the Leaders were enthusiastic about beginning work on the National Youth Leadership Summer Conference and resuming their regular program meetings.
New York Jeter's Leaders Annual College Tour
By Aaron, Jeters Leaders Member since 2006
On April 1, 2007 the Jeter's Leaders and six chaperones embarked on their annual college tour. This year the trip was to Florida. Over the course of the week, they visited five different colleges across the "Sunshine" state. It was beneficial for every student to explore the schools and bond with the other leaders.
The trip kicked off with a pizza party while everyone arrived and the luggage was loaded onto the bus. At noon, the bus departed for the twenty-hour trip to Tallahassee Florida. The first school we toured was Florida State University, a public and coeducational institution. When we arrived, we walked into a room where we watched a film about the university and its history. Next, we met with an admission advisor, from Florida State University. He explained the college admission process and outlined five requirements for every school; the completed application, application fee, high school course load and transcript, SAT/and or ACT scores, and writing samples. After that, we had a guided walking tour around campus and visited the massive football stadium where their football team, the Seminoles plays.
The leaders enjoyed two hours of free time at Governor's Square Mall until they departed for Florida A&M University, also known as "FAM U," a four year, public, co-ed and fully accredited institution of higher learning. They toured the sprawling city-like campus, guided by a recent FAM U graduate, Jennifer. After the tour, they attended an information session provided by the admissions office which included an informational film about the university and question and answer time with Robert Malone from the admissions office.
After the long, eventful day the leaders retreated to the hotel where they enjoyed an evening swim in the pool and free time before dinner at Ruby Tuesdays.
The next morning, the leaders ate continental breakfast provided by the hotel and boarded the bus, eager to arrive at their next destination, Miami. They headed to the University of Florida, where they visited the bookstore to purchase Gators gear to celebrate their winning the NCAA Men's Basketball championship the night before. Next they departed for Daytona Beach, Fla.
At the HBCU, Bethune-Cookman University the students paid homage to Mary McLeod Bethune, founder of the university whose grave lies in the center of the campus. Hungry and exhausted from the hot sun, the leaders arrived at Johnny Rockets, the fifties themed diner on Ocean Drive, better known as the strip of Miami Beach.
Most of the students were impressed by University of Miami when they saw the sprawling campus which included a public swimming pool with diving boards and a lake with ducks. The leaders spent the rest of the afternoon on Miami Beach and walking around the stores. Finally, they went to the Hard Rock Café to enjoy a nice dinner.
On their last day of the trip, the Jeter's Leaders spent their day at Universal Studios theme park where they rode the roller coasters, shopped, took pictures and ate. The rest of the evening was spent packing and preparing for the long trip back to New York.
The trip stressed the program's mission to achieve academically while strengthening the bonds between the students with their fun activities.