From A NY student’s perspective: Ellean’s AOL apprenticeship

“Over the last year, I have taken two apprenticeships with AOL and they have taught me how to design robots and how to create blogs. I love the way that people come from their offices and spend time with us each week. We are so lucky as we're exposed to many new things and I'm learning things I wouldn't have been taught otherwise. For the Blog WOW!, we presented our blogs and I talked about the fact that blogging was growing and becoming a huge source of media. I made a lot of people laugh and it was the first time in my life that so many people paid attention to me. My Citizen Schools teacher, Ms. Thompson, said I was really good, maybe even the best. I was able to present something that I worked hard on. It made me feel so proud and it gave me the confidence to know that I COULD be a better student and I could achieve at a much higher level.


I am starting to make major shifts as a 7th grader. I'm not fighting anymore, I'm paying attention to my school work, and I'm thinking a lot more about my future. My dad used to mess with me and told me that I was bad and wouldn't be anybody but my new experiences have lead me to believe that I WANT to be somebody and not a nobody. Not only do I want to be somebody but I want to be a leader. I don't want to be the kind of leader that tells people what to do, but rather the kind of leader that leads by example like Rosa Parks. Rosa stood up for what she believed in and she fought to keep her seat on that bus. My vision is to make a change within my own community and to stop people from bullying each other and start treating each other with respect and kindness.”  NY apprentice Ellean, 7th grade