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Step to College students entering AERA convention

Written by Sydnee Logan
Step to College Student

My classmates did a great job presenting! The response at the convention was great!

We practiced all morning with two practice sessions for both groups. They then began to practice on their own to better themselves. When we finally got done practicing we got in our vans and left the house. Driving to the center we began to see all the different looking places that looked amazing, and we saw three different types of communities like the urban, middle, and very poor communities. When we got up to the AERA convention we walked up to the room, then waited for a minute until it was time to go in. We were finally able to go in the room where my classmates would be presenting. We got set up and begin as planned. When the presentation was finished, many people were very surprised at the true effort that was shown in their work.

Jeff Duncan-Andrade and Step to College students

After we were done with the Q&A we headed to dinner with the small Maori community from New Zealand. The night with the Maori community was very interesting and stimulating. I feel like I learned a lot from them even some of their language was being taught to us in the restaurant. The Maori were very generous and so full of life, it was pretty new to us and we all got along very fast and quickly became close to them like family. When we left we took many pictures and finally got to our cars and headed back to our house, and later on picked up our new Maori friends to play some games. The most memorable game I remember was Night Mafia. We played the game for hours, almost until 2am.

On Sunday we had a pretty fun day by going to a place called Capilano. They had a suspension bridge, it was very interesting. We then went to a place called Granville Island for a couple hours. Some of us watched outdoor entertainers doing stunts and tricks involving fire and other things, while others went to the indoor market. We left and went to the Vancouver’s downtown “strip” and bought many items. Later we came back to the house had an amazing dinner and played more games.

On our way home the Step students and staff began to talk about the beautiful and inspiring presentation they presented. Our faces grinning from ear to ear from the excitement knowing they did great and people loved the things they talked about, like about our schools and equal learning conditions.

We had a lot of fun and I enjoyed every bit of this whole trip. I think the best part was seeing the presentations unravel so professionally possible of course there was a few things that went wrong but they were able to not show fear or weaknesses when something was not 100.

My friends and TA’s experienced many exiting things and here are a couple people that had something to say:

“The trip was fun and I think the presentation was exhilarating. Also Canadian play structures are dangerous.” – Darrell Tingle

“I’m extremely proud of all the young people because the day of the presentation you all really taught people what social justice is about. Your powerful voices shined through in your presentation and the “question and answer” session reflected the strength of your leadership and the power of the community. Life is like a “question and answer” session, your purpose will always be questioned. To me, your critical response shows a genuine level of growth and leadership.” – Gladys Puente (Staff)

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