The School for Integrated Academics and Technologies (SIATech®) is an award-winning dropout recovery program. SIATech is a fully accredited public charter high school that operates in partnership with the federal Job Corps and Workforce Investment Act programs. The school serves low-income, previously out-of-school youth.
SIATech excels at identifying student strengths and individualizing instruction to meet each student's needs and goals. The school's safe and caring setting enables students to take charge of their learning and obtain the tools they need for lifetime success, whether it is at their chosen career or further education.
Nearly 12,000 out-of-school youth have graduated from SIATech's 16 campuses.
We provide a premiere high school drop-out recovery program engaging students through relationship-focused, high-tech, and rigorous learning experiences resulting in Real Learning for Real Life®
STUDENTS will view their future with optimism, find success as self-directed learners, and contribute to society.
STAFF will be empowered to make a difference in an environment of respect, recognition and professional growth.
COMMUNITIES will benefit from the success and contributions of SIATech® students.
Long Beach Student Wins Visit to China
from Job Corps by José Estrada
During the month of July, SIATech Long Beach student Matthew Moody entered a Job Corps contest. The prize was an opportunity to represent the many US Job Corps Centers on a trip to China. He was chosen as the winner and prepared to travel to China.
On August 9, 2012, he arrived in Beijing, China. It was the first of four cities that they would travel to. The first thing he noticed was the difference in environment, culture, and customs of the Chinese. He was soon to experience memories of a lifetime that will not be forgotten.
The day after his arrival, he visited the Great Hall of the People where the opening ceremony for the trip took place. In attendance were members of 17 other countries representing programs similar to Job Corps. It was great to hear from Matthew the amount of stories and descriptions of the Great Hall and the various people he met.
Matthew described the food they served; it was an experience in itself. They were given foods that were very different, but he described it as a learning experience that was fun and eye-opening. He tried foods such as insects, chicken brain, and other Chinese foods that are not ordinarily served in the United States. He was amazed that he enjoyed most of the foods that he tried.
The stories of China did not end. He was also able to tour the Forbidden City. He was amazed at the size and beauty of the place. He mentioned the smell of history in the place, and he stated, “It was a smell of dust and like an old book.”
The next day, he traveled to the Great Wall of China. Matthew said, “I cannot describe the sheer magnitude of the wall; It was breathtaking. I was able to run part of the wall for twenty minutes and I could have continued as it felt it was never ending.”
The night ended with a Kung Fu show which was very theatrical and acrobatic. They also visited the site of the Beijing Olympics. He experienced the sights of the Birds Nest Stadium and described it as a massive beautiful structure made of many crossing beams. He also visited the pool site where Michael Phelps made history by winning his eight gold Olympic medals for the United States.
The next morning, Matthew boarded the fastest train in the world. He traveled from Beijing to Nanjing, China. In Nanjing, they visited a temple. He was amazed that the entrance of the temple had over three hundred steps. He described running up every step.
The next few days were spent in the city of Wuxi, China. This was his favorite city because it was the most beautiful. He was excited because he experienced sights with the many new people he met. It was a bonding experience where he got to interact and meet new friends who were there from around the world experiencing the beauties of China. He described friends from Australia and New Zealand, and he seemed to love their culture and their personality.
On his last city tour, he visited Shanghai. He described it as a shopper's paradise. They were allowed to go shopping. The night ended with a river boat tour of the city.
When Matthew arrived back to the United States, he had many stories and memories to share with everyone. He showed the many pictures and artifacts that he brought back to Long Beach Job Corps. It is fun to hear the different experiences, share his memories, and hear his descriptions of all the different activities and things he saw. Based on these stories, we know he will share these memories for the rest of his life. We are very proud of him.
José Estrada is an instructor at SIATech at Long Beach Job Corps Center.
SIATech Little Rock Holds Its First Graduation Ceremony by Katie Tatum
SIATech Little Rock held their first commencement exercise on August 25, 2012 at Geyer Springs United Methodist Church. Twenty-nine students graduated with 25 of them having a trade completion. This was an exciting and emotional day for our graduates and staff. Here is a picture of the happy graduates.
We'd also like to welcome our new staff members, Wendilyn Bryant (Special Education), Kristy Dodd (Science), and Lacy Ward (Math).
Katie Tatum is the principal of SIATech at the Little Rock Job Corps Center.
Echo Mountain Trip for SIATech Los Angeles by Eva Sandoval
On June 28, 2012, other fellow students and I went on a hiking trip in the San Gabriel Mountains. I was very excited to go because I had never been hiking before, and my experience was great.
I enjoyed going with some of my favorite teachers such as Social Studies Teacher Mr. Franco, Math Teacher Ms. Guire, ELL Teacher Mr. Pike, and Social Studies/Senior Projects Aide Ms. Mata, as well as my fellow peers.
It was a hot day, but we were prepared with water and food to last the entire trip. It was a bit of a challenge to climb up the tall mountain of 3,207 feet high, but the view of L.A.'s North East Valley was worth every minute of the hike. For instance, any hiker could see the entire San Gabriel Valley and even the tall buildings in Downtown L.A.
It was a great experience for me because I learned a few tricks to climb up and down the mountain. It was scary to know that it measured about 3,207 feet. While climbing down the mountain I stood for a minute and I could not believe how high up the mountain we all had climbed.
Echo Mountain is located in Pasadena which is home to the Rose Parade. The history of Echo Mountain involves Thaddeus Lowe who created a luxury resort hotel, small zoo, horseback riding, and an observatory on top of Echo Mountain that opened in the 1890's. Thaddeus was well known for his participation in the American Civil War using his aeronaut (ballooning) skills. He became a millionaire inventing the water gas process to make ice machines and other cold storage products.
The resort had a beautiful scenic view of the San Gabriel Mountains. To get to Lowe's luxury resort hotel visitors rode a cable car over the canyon. The trail SIATech students and staff climbed was named after Sam Merrill as he is the person who founded the trail.
Fellow SIATech student Hermela Asmelash was the first student to get to the top of the mountain before any other student in the group. She expressed, "It was fun because it reminds me of the times when I went hiking with my church group back home in my country Ethiopia."
Another student I interviewed was Rafael Mendez who was excited about the trip and took many pictures out there. He stated, "My experience was great because I got the chance to explore nature and it was also my first hiking experience."
To think SIATech students traveled a path that visitors took back in 1894 was not only breathtaking, but also unforgettable. Lowes shut down in 1934 when it burned down, but its remains visible along the trail. Thaddeus was an aeronaut, scientist, and inventor who opened several banks and ice making plants.
I would recommend students to go to Echo Mountain for a great workout and beautiful view even as a getaway from the city for some true natural peace and bonding with nature.
Eva Sandoval is a student of SIATech at the Los Angeles Job Corps Center.
Robert Brooks Journey to Becoming Jacksonville Job Corps SGA President By Vivian Camacho
In my first week at SIATech Jacksonville campus, Robert Brooks was recommended by his trade teacher, Mr. Gautreaux, to give me a tour around Facility Maintenance.
Mr. Brooks was a little shy, but didn't hesitate to take me around the classroom and explain the projects his trade was working on. This was the first time I met SIATech student Robert Brooks.
I have seen him around campus and in the classroom working on Social Studies. He hasn't started Creative Tech with me yet, but that didn't stop him from using some class tutorials to create amazing flyers for his campaign to run for SGA President.
Many people around the center have positive things to say about this young man. According to his friend Ra'Shad Davis, "Robert's my best friend and roommate. He's like my brother. He is smart and a considerate gentleman; very positive towards other. This fellow knows what he wants to do in life. He's a hard worker and knows how to carry himself through tough situations. Robert has positive outcomes and tells others what is right.”
The Facility Maintenance Instructor, Juan Gautreaux commented, "Robert Brooks is a leader, and he demonstrates those leadership qualities by setting good examples for others to follow. He has a compelling attitude towards others and is a student demonstrating excellence throughout his Job Corps journey. He has goals to complete the trade and to get his high school diploma from SIATech. Robert is articulate and has a positive influence on others. He's receptive to advice, has a steadfast outlook of his future, and has an aspiration to go to college. He is going to be successful in his future.”
Another friend, Isaac Cyriaque said, "Robert is a cool roommate and we make rap music hits. He has leadership traits because he's smart. He's a good friend."
I recently interviewed Mr. Brooks for this story. Let's listen to the real voice of Robert Brooks as our SGA President at Jacksonville Job Corps Center.
VC: Why did you come to Job Corps? RB: My whole life was a struggle. I grew up in a three-bedroom apartment. I have one sister and one brother. My grandmother died in 2004 and my mother did the best she could to raise us. In 2006 I became independent in making my own decisions and 90% of my decisions were wrong. I played sports in high school. Since I didn't have family support I gave up on myself. I was a victim to the streets because I was out of school for two years doing nothing. What woke me up was when my best friend's one-year-old baby got shot over drugs. No matter how old you are or what you do, you are here one day, the next you are gone. I used to invest in drugs daily, hourly. I gave that all up to come to Job Corps and have a better future.
VC: How was your first week at Job Corps? RB: It was crazy because it was a new environment which seemed foreign to me. I didn't want to be here because I was away from family and friends. I live on-center and I felt like giving up.
VC: What was your first trade choice? RB: My first choice was HVAC. Mr. Gautreaux, Facility Maintenance instructor, convinced me that I should join Facility Maintenance. He saw potential in me. Ever since then I have been one of his best students.
VC: What was your first and favorite trade project? RB: First assignment was the garbage disposal; I took it apart and put it back together. Then my next assignment was gutters. My favorite assignment was shingling the roof because I was afraid of heights and after working on the roof, I am no longer afraid of heights. There are three layers: roof, sheet cover, and shingle. It was difficult. We did the shingle into a brick pattern that made it look like a brick wall. Right now I'm on Work-based Learning on-center. If on-center staff report facility problems such as plumbing, broken doors and windows, waxing floors, hanging lights, etc., I get the call to perform the work with the maintenance staff. I'm 76% complete with trade. I will be off-center hopefully by next week for Work-based learning. Work-based employees Mr. Bradshaw, Mr. Tooks, Mr.
Webb, and Mr. Gerald have been mentors to me.
VC: Why did you choose to attend the SIATech program? RB: I didn't have a choice in academics so I went straight to SIATech. When I first started, it was great because the teachers and students helped me with everything. I came to SIATech with failing scores for FCAT and ACT. While in SIATech I passed the FCAT, ACT, and EOC exams. I'm 40-50% complete with SIATech. All the teachers have been a mentor to me. They help all the students. If they see that you want to do your work, they will help you get it done.
VC: What can you tell me about your friends at Job Corps? RB: My friends became like brothers to me, especially Ra'Shad Davis. Isaac Cyriaque has been a real friend. They got my back.
VC: Why did you run for SGA President? RB: I ran for President to better myself and to help students. Mr. Hill is the owner of the business, Ms. Manning is the CEO and my duties include being the face of Job Corps students. I give ideas for events, social hours, study hours. I bring the bacon, my team cooks it. In our third SGA Meeting our topics included graduation, once-a-month events in the dorms and off-center. I suggested social nights, Wifi in the dorms, more weekly activities after school. There will be an Energy Conservation Day at the end of the month.
VC: How did you feel about this recent SGA meeting that you had with your team? What did you feel were your weaknesses? Your strengths? RB: My first SGA meeting was exciting because it was a new experience. At this week's meeting I felt bored because staff mostly took the floor in speaking than the SGA team. I wanted to have order because people were talking out of turn. I wanted there to be more understanding and the meeting minutes need to be correct. I feel like there is room for improvement and I know that a lot of the suggestions we made at the meeting can be approved through verbal communication with the team and staff. I want to learn how to take the “motion” and “pass it” using the ‘Robert's Rules of Motion's.' I want to improve my vocabulary. My strengths are having ideas such as the ‘Be21 Club.' In this club we will have a mature person teach young adults on how to dress appropriately and mature themselves.
VC: How do you feel now about staying at Job Corps? RB: It changed. It went from a new experience to an experience that I already knew, such as independent living. It's a great place. Job Corps does help. It provides you with all the credentials you need. I bettered myself from a little boy to a young man.
VC: What are your future goals? RB: In my immediate future I see myself in the military or college. If I find a good paying job, I will go straight to work. Five years from now, I see myself owning my own business in facility maintenance and I will be better financially. I will be rich ten years from now.
VC: What message do you have for the graduating class of 2012? RB: Don't stop now. You made it this far and you can make it farther.
Vivian Camacho is the Creative Tech Senior Projects ITA at SIATech at Jacksonville Job Corps Center.
National Commencement Day Celebrates Students, Staff, and Job Corps
Did you know that almost $2 is given back to the local community for every federal dollar invested in Job Corps? Or that more than 85% of completers go on to attend work, college, or the military? Job Corps' National Commencement Day was held on August 24 to celebrate its graduates and share that Job Corps works for at-risk youth, taxpayers, communities, and employers.
A great keynote address captured on video from Mark Shriver, son of Job Corps founder Sargent Shriver, provided a national welcome to the day of celebration. Inspirational words from Sargent Shriver were quoted in the closing of the video: "Just keep working hard. Something good will happen."
The centers did a fantastic job of organizing the festivities and guest speakers for the various ceremonies across the country. Several centers where SIATech schools are located participated and held their graduations with Job Corps on this day.
Here are some highlights from these centers:
Treasure Island (San Francisco): Congresswoman Barbara Lee sent out compliments and a photo via Twitter: "Congrats 2 the Treasure Island Job Corps Grads, esp Shannelle and Deja who interned at my #Oakland office!" Photo
Jacksonville: State Senator Audrey Gibson gave the commencement address at the Jacksonville Job Corps Center's well-orchestrated graduation.
Phoenix: ABC TV covered the Phoenix Job Corps Center commencement.
Fred G. Acosta (Tucson): The center welcomed Congressman Ron Barber and Congressman Raul Grijalva to their graduation. Also on hand were a state legislator, city councilwomen, and Daniel Hernandez, the young man who is credited with saving the life of former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.
Homestead: Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who is an avid supporter of the Job Corps program, addressed the graduates. Said Ros-Lehtinen, “What a true honor to speak before these young adults who have overcome many challenges to be present at this graduation. I congratulate the students, faculty and volunteers of the Homestead Job Corps Center for this achievement. It is because of the commitment of Job Corps and other career training programs that we are able to turn around lives and transform negatives to positives and underachievers to successful members of our South Florida community. It was a great morning!”
San Diego: SIATech at San Diego Job Corps held their ceremony in August and welcomed Assemblymember Ben Hueso. This legislator has been a strong supporter of at-risk youth including his sponsorship of the Dropout Recovery Week in California. Assemblyman Hueso's message focused on the importance of education to improve lives. He compared high school graduation to scoring a touchdown and that one needs to keep scoring touchdowns to win the game. He encouraged students to take every step you can to be informed, and that if you want your kids to go to college the first thing you can do is go to college yourself.
Congratulations to all our students, staff, schools, and Job Corps partners on these inspiring and encouraging graduations!
I'm Back Video Contest Winner from SIATech Long Beach by Greg Cohen
Congratulations to SIATech Long Beach Creative Tech / Senior Projects class for sponsoring the winning entry in the I'm Back Video Contest! The winning student Jessica Camacho won donated gift certificates to Barnes and Noble, Old Navy, and Gap. The CTSP classroom won a donated Android Tablet and $50 to Barnes and Noble for their classroom. First, second, third, and Honorable Mention all went to SIATech Homestead. Students there were awarded donated gift certificates and their CTSP program will get a donated Barnes and Noble gift card as well.
Team! ACT Jeopardy Game at SIATech Jacksonville by Robert Hayeck and Janice Bates
We're improving, connecting and listening. We're making a difference at Jacksonville Job Corps!
We're very excited about our daily ACT Test Prep and so are our students! Every day at third block, our student's are required to practice for the upcoming ACT on September 8, 2012. They look forward to the fun-filled prep filled with competition, laughter and incentives!
Our daily preparation of the ACT is held in the Social Studies Class during 3rd Block and is conducted by Ms. Bates, Mr. Hayack, and Ms. Camacho. Students read passages from the ACT Practice booklet, articles from USA Today, and passages from Prose/Fiction, Humanities, and Social and Natural Sciences.
Our students practice strategies like the ACT Do's & Don'ts. Some examples include: Do read summary of each passage, do read titles charts and graphs first; in questions with words like "except," do mark it out and write "false," and do read your strongest passage first, to name a few. Some "don't" examples include: Don't read the directions; don't read questions before reading the passage; and don't hesitate too long over one question.
We also use strategies like: what is the difference between "Implicit" and "Explicit" questions and what you will find in them. For example: In an (Implicit) passage, our students are taught to read between the lines to find the answer because it's not readily available. In Explicit passages we will find specific details, main idea, sequence, cause/effect, and comparisons. Students are taught to seek the answer in the passage because it's readily available.
Students take a test daily from one of the categories: Prose/fiction, Natural Science, Humanities, and Social Science and then have an ACT Diagnostic Evaluation of each test to find his/her weakness. That's the skill we'll hone in on!
It doesn't stop there! We will continue to test prep every single day for the EOC US History Test! Everyday a new "Word of the Day" is added to their ACT/Social studies vocabulary and it is posted in and out of the classroom so students can't miss it.
In September we'll be celebrating National Hispanic Month by competing for the best "Piñatas" from each class. The students had so much fun doing it last year I decided to do it again this year to give the new students a crack at it!
Robert Hayeck and Janice Bates are instructors at SIATech at Jacksonville Job Corps Center.
The week kicked off with an overview of our organization's mission, vision and values, by Superintendent and Chief Education Officer Dr. Linda Dawson. In addition to two full days of content area training, attendees learned and participated in Common Core State Standards discussions, classroom management ideas and scenarios, critical thinking through use of small group lessons, and our common assessments in math, reading, and writing.
Technology was a huge part of the training, and attendees trained on major tools, including email, iLinc, ANGEL, Helpdesk, SharePoint, PowerSchool, and RenPlace.
It wasn't all business though. New staff participated in team-building activities and end-of-day reflections. Some staff even went on outings during the evenings for dinner and/or movies. All these activities during and beyond the day helped new teams and cohorts build and strengthen relationships.
Lori Belzman is the curriculum coordinator for SIATech.
And the Medal Goes to…? by Aquiles Solis, Student from SIATech at San Diego Job Corps
Have you ever dreamed of being able to represent your country in the Olympic Games? Being able to earn the bronze, silver, or the gold medal? Well recently some SIATech San Diego students had the opportunity to taste the excitement of the Olympic Games.
For the last two weeks students did research on some of the competitors from different parts of the globe. Each student chose an athlete from different country and sport. We researched about their culture, their history in the Olympics, and the athlete’s biography.
We discovered some interesting stories about some of the athletes. For example, Im Dong Hyun of South Korea can barely read a newspaper, but he can hit a bulls-eye with a bow and arrow from 70 meters away!! How bad is his eyesight? Pretty bad, the 26-year-old has 20/200 vision in his left eye, which means "he needs to be 10 times closer to see an object than someone with perfect 20/20 vision." But that did not stop him from winning the gold medal.
Besides learning about the athletes' history and different cultures, we found that the Olympic Games have science and math problems as well. For example, we discovered how much strength we need, to throw a 16 lb. ball to reach distances more than 20 meters or what type of muscles we use in archery. It was a fun way to learn so much new information.
But it was not all just investigation or research. We also competed to earn medals not by playing the events, but to see who had the best presentation. The presentations were initially going to use PowerPoint but most students starting using newer methods of presenting such as Prezi.com and Tumblr.com. These last programs were really different and motivating. To see an example, go to this presentation.
"It was like almost making a commercial," reported student Leslie Salas. But it was not all fun and games, we also had difficulties. For example, the Internet was really slow or blocked us from seeing pictures of the athletes or video of the competitions. "It was really difficult to keep track of our athlete's performance," said student Irving Salas.
We had our difficulties, but thanks to the help of our teachers and the usage of the iPad we could see some of the events. It was a really good idea of Mr. Luke from SIATech Social Studies to use the iPad. We just downloaded the app and the student would view different events of their designated athletes. "Thanks to the iPad, everyone saw Mexico's road to the gold medal in soccer, everyone was shouting and jumping for joy," commented Gerardo Olmos, "shouting when the video stream was buffering and jumping when Mexico scored a goal."
At the closing ceremonies everyone showed off their presentations, and we learned so many facts about the other athletes. Some Chinese athletes trained for four years without seeing their families for the sole purpose of winning the gold medal. It was really fascinating to learn about more than just American athletes. However, all good things always have to end, so we had our own closing ceremonies.
We also awarded for the bronze, silver and gold for the best three presenters and presentations. The winners were Leann Omectin for Bronze, Salvador Ochoa for Silver, and Ethan Lefoy the Gold. Also each winner was awarded a replica of the Olympic Medal and a water bottle from Polar Bottle Inc. that students will use to cool down after a heated competition.
Aquiles Solis is the student newsletter reporter for SIATech at San Diego Job Corps Center.
School Spotlight: Student Success Abounds at SIATech at San Diego Job Corps
SIATech has a reputation for being a place where students can find another chance to turn their lives around. This is proven true time and again through student stories of resiliency and success. The paths that bring students to SIATech and its partners are varied and colorful. Few are individuals who simply neglected their studies at traditional schools. We welcome young people from numerous situations. Here are a few student stories from the SIATech campus located on the San Diego Job Corps.
Kowser Elmi was new to the United States when she enrolled in Job Corps and in turn SIATech. The young woman came to class with limited English skills and school experience in her home country of Somalia.
After enrolling in SIATech in May 2010, the SIATech staff tirelessly worked with the eager young student to develop her academic skills and provide "Real Learning for Real Life." The hard work paid off. Her reading and math proficiency steadily increased. After two unsuccessful attempts at the CAHSEE, Kowser passed on the third effort. After she completed all course requirements she earned her diploma in January 2012. Kowser enrolled at San Diego Community College and after her first semester made the Dean's List with a 3.77 GPA. Congratulations, Kowser!
Adrian Evans came to Job Corps in May of 2011. He quickly realized that San Diego Job Corps (SDJC) had many more things to offer him than he had originally considered. In little more than a year, he will have completed two trades: Computer Technology and Homeland Security. He has also attained Graduate of Distinction honors as a SIATech graduate, received Student of the Month, served as dorm president, was chosen as an Ambassador for the center, and had the honor of working Base in his Security trade. In his free time he was captain of the SDJC flag football team and involved in the Kings Amongst Men program. Based on all of Adrian’s accomplishments in his brief time at San Diego Job Corps, we expect that this is only the beginning of a long list of accomplishments in his future.
As a featured speaker at SIATech San Diego's August graduation, Adrian expressed gratitude for his SIATech and trade teachers and the individual attention given to students: "We would like to thank our teachers for all the help they have given us. For with every individual hand that is raised, you all come to our help as fast as you can."
Brooks Terry came to San Diego Job Corps in December of 2011. In her eight short months on center, she mastered many skills that will assist her as she embarks upon her next academic and professional endeavors. While completing her tile trade she received an award for Hardest Worker.
During her time in academics she earned her GED and SIATech high school diploma in record time with extremely high scores. Her teachers acknowledged her stellar work ethic and recognized her with a Student of the Month award. In her free time she was active in Student Government Association (SGA) meetings and served as dorm leader in order to help student’s voices be heard on important issues on center. We are confident that Brooks is on a path to many more life accomplishments.
Brooks was also a featured speaker at the graduation. She praised her fellow graduates for sticking through school to completion: "I’m sure we can all relate to the constant struggle high school was for us. The ups and downs, the good and the bad, and don’t forget the boyfriends and girlfriends. But now, as we sit here, we can all say that it was definitely worth it. Seems like just yesterday we were wondering what was going to happen to us and our future. Some of us may have thought we would never see a graduation gown. BUT today we get to celebrate!" Congratulations to Adrian and Brooks, as well as all the SIATech graduates!
Organicorps: Many Job Corps centers have thriving organic gardens and San Diego is no exception. Here is a mouthwatering photo of the recent healthy harvest of the Organicorps garden. Yum!
Thank you to Sally Cohenour, Sara Lewis, Luke Sponsler, and others who submitted stories for SIATech San Diego this month.