Full STE[+a]M Ahead – Final Week Recap


Another summer of Full STE[+a]M Ahead came to a close. The Track 1 students were sad to see the end of the youth education program, which lasts for three weeks during their summer break. The program is aimed at giving high school students the skills needed to compete in today’s in-demand career fields and develop them as community leaders. We partnered with the Elementary Institute of Science, Project New Village, the AJA Project, the San Diego Futures Foundation, Groundwork, and UC San Diego to develop a curriculum, provide resources and guide students in activities related to STEAM subjects that directly contribute to their surrounding community.


In their final week of Full STE[+a]M Ahead, the students spent a lot of time in the kitchen with Chef Darren Street. Chef Darren is the head chef at True Roots Catering, the Jacobs Center’s catering company which serves as a social enterprise that is all about “catering with a cause.” Through True Roots, we provide career training, paying jobs and hands-on education in the field of culinary arts. It was the perfect opportunity for Full STE[+a]M kids to learn those very important lessons as well as some others.


Students prepared lunch every day for themselves and fellow participants. Chef Darren prepared a menu and the students worked together to prepare it. Among the items on the menu were enchiladas, chicken and vegetarian stir-fry and vegetarian and non-dairy pizza.

As they worked in the kitchen, students re-learned some of the major lessons they were taught throughout the program. That consists of the 7 C’s of the Social Change Model of Leadership. Those 7 C’s are:


Consciousness of self



Common Purpose

Controversy with Civility


In the kitchen, they were able to hit upon each of these C’s, including a bonus one – cooking! Working together towards a common goal daily showed then that the 7 C’s are all around them and must be implemented for greater leadership success.


Students also spent time this week at the Elementary Institute of Science working on their raised garden beds, tending to the plants, fruits and vegetables they’re growing and even gave them some aesthetic love by painting the beds with fun designs.


Another exciting thing the Full ST[+a]M students were able to do was live Skype with a member of the Peace Corps currently working in Singapore. Christine Bora Lee answered their questions and told the kids how everything they have been learning during the Full STE[+a]M summer program could be applied to a large variety of careers and in different countries.


As the program comes to a close, students spent time in the computer lab working on their final projects. Those projects, which revolve around designing sustainable gardens. Each team will be presenting their final project at the Full STE[+a]M Ahead Celebration Dinner happening on August 19 from 6-8 pm at the Joe & Vi Jacobs Center (404 Euclid Ave. San Diego, Ca 92102). You can reserve your free tickets to this exciting and enriching event here. There, attendees will vote on their favorite projects, hear from students about their experience and see a new art concept created by students that will replace the Community Faces murals in Market Creek Plaza. You don’t want to miss out on this great event.

Without a doubt, this year’s STE[+a]M program has been one of the most successful we have ever had. We are proud to report that the program had 100% retention. Not one student left the program early, a few of them walking more than an hour from their home to get to their classes. Their dedication to their education was a beautiful sight to see and we couldn’t be prouder. As it all came to a close, students read the letters that they wrote to their future selves at the start of the program and reflected on how much their perception has changed. In such a short time, they truly transformed into leaders of our community.

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