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Summertime Fun Across the State

Up and down the state this summer, our First Place team has hosted weekly events and activities in the six-week Summer Bridge program! While it can be difficult for young people to stay engaged and connected with others over the summer break, the Summer Bridge provides opportunities to learn new skills, explore careers of interest, go on exciting field trips, and stay connected throughout the summer. Highlights from this summer’s events in our six county service areas are below:

The close of summer means Alameda County’s last Summer Bridge event at Mt. Hermon Ropes Course in Santa Cruz in late August. What a way to come together live, build trust and share mental and physical support for one another. High above the forest floor, staff and young people traversed progressively more challenging rope and timber obstacles suspended among the redwood trees.  

“This was a great activity for community building, and challenging and supporting one other to navigate new territory,” said Education and Employment Manager, Stephanie Garcia.  

At the Santa Clara County office, staff held interactive interview prep and professional headshot sessions for youth. Staff shared experiences job hunting, gave personal advice on how to prepare for job interviews, and suggested how to answer challenging interview questions.    

“The youth who attended left the event with much more confidence and knowledge of interviewing as well as their headshot that could be used for their professional networking profiles,” said SCC Education & Employment Specialist, Aidole Arteaga. 

In Los Angeles, a field trip to Universal Studios brought everyone together for a day of fun.  

“We got to ride the rides, see the attractions, have lunch together, and bond in 1-2 hour wait lines,” said LA Education & Employment Specialist Lara Torii. “Everyone had a blast- whether it was their first time at the park or their 10th time!”  

This summer was filled with fun, learning and shared experiences for youth and staff. After so much time being separated by COVID, we were excited to engage young people with opportunities to develop healthy living skills, and also explore meaningful career pathways. We are deeply appreciative of the Save The Redwoods League for supporting our Bay Area Summer Bridge programming. Thanks to our amazing team across the state for organizing these events and making sure our young people have opportunities to stay connected. It’s been a fun, jam-packed summer—we can’t wait until next year!  

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