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. Empowering Students and Staff

    An interview with Ryan Johnson, Site Coordinator in Inglewood

    Meet one of our Site Coordinators for Inglewood Unified, Ryan Johnson. 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 and raised in Carson, CA. I am currently pursuing my Bachelor’s Degree at Antioch University with the hope of becoming an Elementary School teacher. I began working in the field of education in 2009 at a charter school for 2 years as a campus aide, then transitioned to after school shortly after. I had heard arc had taken over the school where I was once Site Coordinator. After learning more about the company, I felt that their culture would be a nice one to work in.

    What do you do at arc?

    I am the Site Coordinator for Warren Lane Elementary School in Inglewood. In a nutshell, my duties are to shape and mold lives. The lives that I speak of are not just the students of Warren Lane, but also our Program Leaders. I want to make sure that the students are empowered to do anything they set their minds to and I try my best to do the same with the Program Leaders. While I also do the little things, like tracking attendance and turning in paperwork, the big picture of my job is to make a difference.

    “You enter some companies and you may never cross paths with the CEO or President, but here they go out of their way to greet you and make sure you have everything at your site.”

    What do you love most about working with youth?

    I love working with the kids, interacting with all the different personalities and seeing them grow into scholars. What I love the most is being able to help them along the way. After struggling and working through something, the moment you see the lightbulb flash inside their head and finally grasp what they are being taught means the world to me.

    What do you love most about working at arc?

    What I love most about working at arc is the people. They make you feel like you belong, that you are apart of the arc family. You enter some companies and you may never cross paths with the CEO or the President, but here they go out of their way to greet you and make sure you have everything at your site.

  2. Motivating Youth & Developing Leaders

    An interview with Diana Carrillo, Regional Manager in Los Angeles

    Meet one of our Regional Managers in Los Angeles, Diana Carrillo. Get to know why she’s passionate about working with our youth below!

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

    I was born and raised and South Los Angeles and attended public schools my whole life. When I found out about arc I was going through a very difficult time in my life where I was recovering from injuries caused in a car accident. I was looking for a part time job that would help me ease back into being my normal self. Never in a million years did I think that arc would have the impact that it has had in my life. I was able to work with a variety of students that continuously encouraged me to be better than I was the day before. arc motivated me to be better not only for myself but for our youth.

    What do you do at arc?

    I am a Regional Manager for K-12 after school programs. In a nutshell, my job is to develop leaders for our programs. By creating leaders, we create a program that is full of new opportunities to develop our youth. We provide a safe and fun learning environment for our students. I ensure that we meet compliance while still delivering amazing after school programming.

    What do you love most about working with youth?

    What I love most about working with youth is the world full of possibilities. Working with youth has taught me to reach for stars. They remind you that no matter how many times you fall, you have to keep getting up and trying. No matter how rough a day may be, youth will always help you see the brighter side. Not only do our youth need us, but we also need them. They remind you to stay strong because you are their mentor. There is never a dull day with our students and I would not want it any other way.

    “There is never a dull day with our students and I would not want it any other way.”

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

    The most inspiring and fulfilling moment while working with arc for me was to see one of my students reach their potential. She was struggling with school due to having a lot of problems at home. The family no longer knew how to help her so they reached out to me. I had built a good relationship with this student over the years and decided that I would step in and try to see how we could help after school. When I shared what my goals were in life for myself and my students she opened up and shared why she was making bad choices. We were able to get her help and that led to her being motivated again. She began checking in and helping me with everyday tasks. That then trickled down to her school work. She knew we were there for anything she needed. Things at home improved as well. One day the mother showed up to program with food for all of the staff and a touching thank you card. She let us know that we had made such a difference in their life and that her daughter had hugged her. Seeing how happy her mother over a hug made me realize that we do make a difference, whether we see it or not.

    What do you love most about working at arc?

    What I love most about working with arc is the people. arc to me is family. We are all always here for each other in the good and the bad times. arc challenges me to be better than I was yesterday.

  3. Passionate About Youth Development in San Diego

    An interview with Natalie Kutches, our San Diego LEAD Coordinator

    Meet our LEAD Coordinator down in San Diego, Natalie Kutches. Get to know why she’s passionate about working with our youth below!

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

    I am from Everett, WA but moved to San Diego to attend SDSU in 2008. After traveling, graduating college, and more traveling, I did two years of full time community service through the Baha’i Faith. During this time I learned to facilitate groups of youth, accompany other facilitators, and coordinate day and weeklong events. When I applied for a facilitator position at arc (and got a call for an interview 2 hours later), it seemed like a perfect fit. As I transitioned from a facilitator to a coordinator I couldn’t believe the overlap in my responsibilities at arc with my previous experience. It felt like a confirmation to be working here!

    What do you do at arc?

    I am the LEAD Coordinator for the San Diego region. One of my main responsibilities is coordinate the GOALS program for all of the SDUSD high schools, and a number of middle schools just north and south of San Diego. My other major focus is to plan and execute the SD LEADS Conferences for SDUSD and SDCOE high schools. I also put together and oversee other programs such as College and Career Bound, Career Aware, and adventure trips for independent clients.

    “It was great to realize our program had made an impact in something so important as navigating the future profession of a high school student.”

    What do you love most about working with youth?

    I love that youth can do important things without being too serious. Youth will be working on a project, a plan, or a challenging activity but still find time to make jokes with each other and have casual conversation. When working with them I feel like I am on their schedule; we will accomplish what we set out to do, but not without some time to get to know each other and having a few laughs. It allows me to be in the moment.

    Are you also passionate about influencing youth? Consider a career in after school. Join the arc team!

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

    One of my favorite moments while working at arc was during our College and Career Bound program hosted at SDSU over the summer. I was walking a group of students back to our meeting spot at the park after visiting the Union Tribune, as their second job tour of the day. While one student was talking to me about how the tour host had clarified her career path and offered to connect her to the industry, I could hear everyone around me having conversations about how much they learned on their tour and how it inspired them for their future. It was great to realize our program had made an impact in something so important as navigating the future profession of a high school student.

    What do you love most about working at arc?

    I love the amount of flexibility and creativity that is encouraged. As my supervisor, Brenna is always encouraging me to find a solution and trusts that I will “make it work.” We have created a lot of programs from scratch and improved them little by little. She has provided for a lot of room for me to grow professionally.

  4. Save After School Programs With SB 78

    New legislation introduced to increase funding for after school programs

    A special thanks goes to Senator Connie M. Leyva for putting in work to save after school programs! On January 11th, 2017 Senator Leyva introduced legislation to increase statewide funding for afterschool programs.

    This is especially important for all of our schools. We can now continue the great programs we have in place as well as offer new programs that further entice our students.

    Sponsored by the California Afterschool Advocacy Alliance and supported by over a dozen organizations, SB 78 seeks to increase funding for the After School Education and Safety (ASES) program—the main after school funding mechanism in California. SB 78 would continuously appropriate an additional $99,305,000 to the California Department of Education for the ASES program, bringing total annual funding to $649,305,000. Beginning in the 2018-19 fiscal year, and each fiscal year after that, funding would increase simultaneously with minimum wage increases to ensure that programs remain solvent.

    On behalf of all of us here at arc, we’d like to say a huge THANK YOU to Senator Leyva!

  5. Where the Good Guys Win: Reading Material For Students Post-Election

    reading-book-girls-emzxdosijj4-ben-white In the wake of the election (yes, we still cannot believe it), here’s a list of books to that may help ease your students’ worries. Remind them that although these are stories, the fact remains that:

    “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if only one remembers to turn on the light.” -Albus Dumbledore

    Harry Potter Series by J.K Rowling
    Harry’s goodness and bravery prevails in the epic battle between him and Lord Voldemort; author J.K. Rowling maintains that distinction between the two, allowing readers to understand that evil is not of pure heart and morally or ethically objectionable.

    The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
    The premise of the series is the uprising rebellion against unjust politicians and policies that were designed to suppress its citizens. Protagonist Katniss Everdeen, in efforts to protect her sister, challenges the rules in order to win the battle between her and oppressive ruler, President Snow.

    Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
    There are clearly good guys and bad guys in this novel, and the bad guys are really bad. Inkheart is so named because Capricorn’s heart is as black as ink. Meggie, Mo, and the others face mortal danger yet fight on to triumph over evil in the end.

    Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis
    In The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, the differences good and evil are clear, though the characters may not always see it at first. This is perhaps most apparent in the character of Edmund, who is easily influenced by the evil White Witch. People who are good have to make difficult choices that may not appear beneficial at first, but in the end, will always work in everyone’s favor. On the other hand, evil loses, even though the wrong choice may seem like the most beneficial in that moment and time. While recognizing that evil has a necessary place in the world, good will prevail.

    Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series by Rick Riordan
    This series draws a clear distinction between good versus evil. Percy must go through various quests and defeat monsters along the way that lead to the epic battle against Kronos to stop him from creating a war with the other Olympians. Percy, though challenged at times, triumphs over Kronos through leadership, bravery, and morality.

    Students now more than ever can enter a world of adventure where the good guys win!

    As educators we need to make sure that our students feel safe and empowered in light of the uncertainty this election has brought upon us. Many educators have taken the time to use this election to teach students about civics to gain a better understanding of what can legally happen, and what our new President-elect can and cannot do.

    Read more on civics lessons from the election.

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