By Nicole Highes, Berkeley Center Career Coordinator
Internships and volunteer work is a very crucial part of the CIP program. It allows our students to explore current interests and to develop the skills they need to find employment and become responsible employees. The Berkeley Center offers a variety of internship opportunities. Our current internship/volunteer opportunities that some of our students are interning/volunteering at, include: Hearts Leap Preschool, World Institute on Disability, Partnerships for Change (Human Rights Organization), Berkeley Public Library Literacy Program, KPFA, YMCA, Humane Society, Oakland zoo, Spectrum Schools, Satellite Housing (senior home), and St. Vincent de Paul.
Our students are motivated and committed to reaching their goals. For instance, one of our students, Caitlin Roth, who is our Treasurer for the Student Senate here at CIP, is currently volunteering at Hearts Leap Preschool, located in Berkeley, California. She is currently working as a preschool assistant, for children ages 2-5 . Caitlin has a long-term goal, to one day be a head teacher. Caitlin has a great love for children, and works really well with them. She has over three years experience working in a daycare setting, and just recently received her Child Development Associates certificate, after months of hard work and studying. In addition, she is working on pursuing her permit as an Associate Teacher for Preschool. Caitlin is determined to reach her goals, as well as dedicated. With the passion she has for children, and the eagerness she has to move ahead, Caitlin will be very successful in life.
Alex Angelo, the President of our Student Senate here at CIP Berkeley has a passion for politics and different political issues. Alex is currently volunteering for Partnership For Change, a Human Rights Organization. He has been doing a wonderful job, according to his supervisor, Jackie Miller, President of the organization. In his role he has been doing a lot of research on issues in Burma. Soon he will start raising public awareness about the different issues and also participating in outreach. In addition, he will be writing letters to several different Senators, and Congressmen asking for support and assistance regarding the issues in Burma. He has been keeping very busy researching for his volunteer position as well as juggling classes at BCC, and taking modules here at CIP Berkeley. Alex has been doing an outstanding job!
Alex Angelo: “Burma is one of the many invisible issues that only a small minority of people are aware of. In the case of Burma, it is an ethnic cleansing via genocide and the media has yet to bring it up. The problems in Burma will not be solved overnight, but I at least can bring awareness to an issue which has ramifications for several parts of the world.”
In addition to internship opportunities, Berkeley Center students also participate in community service throughout the year. Some community service events include; beach cleanup, planting/weeding, habitat restoration, and feeding the homeless. This allows students to work as a team, as well as support one another in helping the community.
For instance, a group of our students just recently completed a community service project at MLK Shoreline. The MLK shoreline is a 741-acre park leased from the Port of Oakland, protecting the remainder of a once-extensive marshland at San Leandro Bay. Within it is the 50 acre Arrowhead Marsh, a stopover on the Pacific flyway and part of the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network. The marsh is some of the last remaining wetland habitat in the East Bay and is home to many species, including the endangered California rail and burrowing owls.
The students participated in removing invasive plants from the marshes as well as cleaning up the shoreline. When we were finished, the shoreline looked 100% better, than it did, when we got there. The students did a fantastic job! They worked really hard and made the shoreline look presentable. They filled up 15 bags with invasive plants, and filled up five large bags with trash from the shoreline. They really had a great experience and learned a great deal. Way to go CIP students!
MLK Shoreline Cleanup Photos:
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