Students and staff from Webb, Decker and Mendez Middle Schools joined Young Leaders Society members at the Alamo Drafthouse last week for a fun end-of-year celebration.
The UWATX Volunteer Project Leader (VPL) middle school program aims to transform youth into active community leaders by teaching them leadership skills they need to make meaningful and lasting change in their communities. This year, our 110 VPL students from the three campuses completed 28 volunteer projects. This resulted in 1,565 hours of time given to improving their Manor, St. John’s and Dove Springs communities!
Members of the Hands On Central Texas team, who work with these kids each week, and YLS members handed out certificates and t-shirts to the students who were dedicated to the program during the 2014-2015 school year, as well as special plaques for the principals of each school. They also received popcorn and their choice of snacks and drinks during the film as a special treat.
Underwater Dreams is a documentary about the story of a group of Hispanic high school students from a Title I school who build and enter an underwater robot in a national robotics competition. The students constructed the robot out of low-cost materials from Home Depot, and beat out all of the competing colleges, including powerhouse MIT. The documentary was meant to inspire the middle school students to pursue STEM fields, as well as any other dreams and future goals they have, regardless of their upbringing.
Jesse Garcia, a YLS member and engineer at Freescale Semiconductor, spoke to the students after the film. Jesse grew up as the son of undocumented immigrants, similar to the students in the documentary, and said focusing on STEM fields in school and college opened many doors for him.