Learning Intervention for Teens Winter 2019

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Class Details

This course pairs energetic Williams students with adolescents involved in the juvenile court system of Berkshire County. Judges assign teenagers (ages 13-17) to this program, an official Commonwealth of Massachusetts probation program. Our goal is to empower the teenagers through positive peer mentorship and by allowing them to take ownership of an independent project. Each Williams student helps a teen investigate, develop a final project, and present about a topic of the teen’s choosing. The project and other program activities aim to cultivate initiative, creativity, focus, and skills in areas such as goal-setting and communication, which the teenagers can transfer to their school, work, and home lives. The course ends with a presentation in which each adolescent/Williams student pair formally presents its work to an audience that includes the Berkshire County Juvenile Court judges and probation officers, town and city chiefs of police, County District Attorney and assistant DAs, the teens’ peers and families, Williams faculty and community members. Williams students develop experience serving in an official capacity, learn to mentor teenagers, and gain insight into the juvenile justice system. Williams students are expected to attend trainings, meet with their teens three times a week, co-give a final presentation, and keep a weekly journal detailing their meetings. This is a student-led course, sponsored by Chief Wynn and Professor Shanks but entirely run by trained Williams students who have served as mentors in the past. In order to enroll in the course, all students must write a paragraph explaining why they believe they’d be a successful mentor in this program. Students should email their paragraphs to student coordinator Nicholas Goldrosen at [email protected] and cc: [email protected]
The Class: Format: afternoons
Limit: 10
Grading: pass/fail only
Requirements/Evaluation: journal and final reflection totaling 10-15 pages, final project with teenager
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: by paragraph of interest
Materials/Lab Fee: none
Attributes: EXPE Experiential Education Courses

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