The Blog

What's happening at arc? Read on to learn more about all our endeavors in the world of education and after school learning!
  1. The Importance of Professional Development: Raising the Bar for Our Students

    Professional Development. We sign up for it. We schedule it in our calendars. We even choose what lesson we’re going to learn. But in life, professional development doesn’t always work that way. Not for me, not for you, not for our students.

    I’ve played the role of both trainer and trainee, when it comes to professional development; but perhaps the greatest and most significant learning experiences have happened unexpectedly. And while I’m tempted to run off a list of all of ways that I have been challenged this school year and had my own professional development, I remind myself of the students we serve.

    For most, the support that we provide means the world to them. And I don’t just mean the tutoring, or the pizza, or even the free giveaways. I’m talking about our PRESENCE. On a daily basis, our young people see us as their heroes. And that goes for the new hires to the veterans and the front line staff to the home office team.

     

    “With so much uncertainty surrounding the field of After School, now is the time for us to raise the bar within ourselves and with our young people.”

     

    The arc shirt that unites us, shows everyone that we’re committed to being excellent for our students and bringing out that very same excellence in them. With so much uncertainty surrounding the field of After School, now is the time for us to raise the bar within ourselves and with our young people. And when we see how it brings out the best in our students, we must showcase it to the world, so there will be no doubt as to what role we play in developing the leaders of tomorrow.

    That is our challenge. That is our professional development.


    Sterling Williams is arc’s Special Projects Manager, overseeing our Language in Action Program and Lifesaver program in collaboration with LAUSD’s Beyond the Bell, among others.

  2. Your Voice, Your Program!

    Our afterschool programs are designed around the specific needs of each community. Let us know what you want to see afterschool—remember, it’s Your Voice, Your Program!

    Students, click here!
    Student Survey

    Parents and Guardians, click here!
    Parent Survey (English)

    Padres y familiares hispanohablantes, ¡haz clic aquí!
    Encuesta para padres (español)

    Thank you for your feedback!

  3. Youth Environmental Education: Getting Students Curious About the World Around Them

    An interview with Zhareen Bulalacao, LEAD Coordinator and Adventure Guide in Los Angeles

    Meet one of our passionate staff members in Los Angeles, Zhareen Bulalacao. Get to know why she loves working with our youth below!

    Where are you from and how did you end up at arc?

    I was raised in a small town called Summerville in South Carolina. I received a Bachelor’s degree in Geological Sciences (with an emphasis on Geochemistry) from UC Santa Barbara. For five years, I worked as a field/lab scientist in a soil laboratory, but I wanted a job giving back to my community while still being active in an environmental cause and working in the outdoors. arc reached out to me and I was hired as a guide. I was trained by the adventure staff and moved into a coordinating position.

    What do you do at arc?

    I am a Guide and LEAD Coordinator. I lead outdoor programs and I coordinate the logistics of outdoor programs. As a guide, I like to provide cultural history and environmental facts about locations, as well as teaching students best practices for their activity at hand. As a coordinator, I provide the best people for the best trips. I enjoy doing both and I am happy to work with people who love what they do.

    What do you love most about working with youth?

    I encourage students teaching students. I love seeing students share what they learned and turn it into something that is meaningful to them.

    “I love my guide team. I love the dedication and enthusiasm they have for outdoor education and empowering youth.”

    What has been one of your most inspiring, coolest, or fulfilling moments while working for arc?

    My most fulfilling moment was taking Bright Star Secondary students on a 3-day camping trip in July 2016. We spent one of those hot summer days swimming in the cool, clear, and shallow Merced River in the Yosemite Valley. I learned so much about them. I got a chance give them an outdoor education experience by answering their questions about where the water was coming from and why it was so cold. I was amazed with their inquisitive conversations about the landscape and was impressed how easily they can explain it all to each other.

    While in Yosemite we hiked up a more challenging and steeper trail. I noticed most of the kids were looking down at the ground, feeling exhausted. I told them, “If you keep staring at the ground, you’ll never know what you’re missing up here.” I didn’t realize how metaphorical that quote was to them until one of the students gave me a shout out at the end of the trip about “keeping their head up, when things get hard.”

    What do you love most about working at arc?

    I love my guide team. I love the dedication and enthusiasm they have for outdoor education and empowering youth.

  4. A Career With Youth to Give Back to the Community

    An interview with Martin Arispe, Site Coordinator in Oceanside

    Meet one of our leaders in Oceanside, Martin Arispe. Get to know why he’s passionate about working with our youth below!

    Where are you from and how did you end up at arc?

    I was born in San Antonio, Texas until my family moved to Oceanside, California in 1985. I had the privilege of going to Del Rio Elementary, Lincoln Jr. High, and El Camino High School in the Oceanside Unified School District. I’ve been involved with the youth community since my first kid was born. For over 24 years, I’ve coached youth sports like soccer, flag-football, baseball, and softball. I knew even then that I wanted to work with youth. I started my after school career in 2004 at the Boys & Girls Club of San Marcos at San Marcos Middle School being the Site Coordinator. From there, I knew I was in the right field of work. I wanted to give back to the city of Oceanside so I applied for arc in year 2014. I’m so glad they hired me!

    What do you do at arc?

    I am the Site Coordinator at Cesar Chavez Middle School for arc. In a nutshell, I am responsible for being the primary point of contact for program logistics pertaining to a specific school site and act as a liaison for parents, teachers, administration, students and staff.

    “It is such a great feeling to see so many youth lives are being guided in the right direction.”

    What do you love most about working with youth?

    I love working with middle school students. I feel the students are like clay materials and I am the sculpture that helps mold their future. It is such a great feeling to see so many youth lives are being guided in the right direction.

    What has been one of your most inspiring, coolest, or fulfilling moments while working for arc?

    The coolest thing I love about arc is the Teen Adventure Challenge. I love this event because it draws a lot of students to compete against other teams from all over Southern California. It builds teamwork and unity for our youth.

    What do you love most about working at arc?

    The dedication that arc has to enrich the lives of youth.

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