Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Getting to Know Our Teachers

Our teachers are the backbone of Summit. They are inspiring, dedicated, and simply amazing. They also each have a unique story about their path to Summit and to teaching their area of passion. Learn more about our teachers in our new Teacher Profile page on our website (http://summitps.org/whoweare/Teachers). As part of an ongoing series, we're currently featuring the below six teachers. 

Holocaust Survivor Brings Hope and Strength to Summit

The Expeditions Holocaust class at Summit Prep welcomed the start of their Holocaust Survivor’s speaker series this month. The class invited Helen Farkas, an Auschwitz and death march survivor, to share her story with 150 students as multiple classes attended her presentation. Helen bravely shared stories of her arrival to Auschwitz and the terror she saw as her mother & father stood in line for the gas chambers. And while Helen’s story was filled with tragedy, she expressed an unrelenting positive message of strength and hope.
Helen left our students with this thought:“...anytime someone is targeted because of their race, their ethnicity, their gender, their sexuality, their religion, anyone one who has been picked on, made fun of, bullied or beaten. For anyone who has experienced any of this, which is all of us, at some point in our lives, we are forever connected to those who have suffered in the past. These are the ties that bind us together, to each other and to me. You are me, and I am you. We are all human beings and we must fight against the injustices of the world we are living in.”


Reflections from a Summit Prep Alumna in College

Jenny Gonzalez, a Summit Prep alumna who graduated in 2012, is currently a senior at Sonoma State University and graduating Spring 2016. She is majoring in Communications with a minor in Spanish. Even though Jenny graduated almost four years ago from Summit, she couldn’t stay away from the community and has interned with multiple Summit teams.
“I’m really grateful for the habits and skills I learned at Summit that prepared me for college.”
How did Summit prepare you for college?
If Summit didn’t have office hours and really encouraged me to go when I was in high school, I don’t think I would have even known what office hours really were. When going to my professor's office hours, I know how to ask questions and share concerns I have. Also, going to office hours in college has really helped me have a good relationship with my teachers. Building a relationship with a teacher during office hours could benefit for writing letters of recommendation or references.
What advice would you give to a Summit student?
Really make the most of high school. Four years go by really quickly and then you’re on your own. Make sure to give it your all with your academics because they matter when it comes to classes in college, or even the colleges you are eligible to apply to. Also, join school clubs, go to all the dances, have school spirit, be proud to be a part of the Summit community.
What are you looking forward to after college graduation?
Finding a job where I can help my community be seen as a positive place. As an East Palo Alto native, I know that it isn’t just a city full of violence -- that’s how the media always makes it seem. I majored in Communications to change that perspective of my city. So whether it is a job in media or a non profit organization, I just look forward to helping people that have gone through the same struggles as I have.