Summer Experiences 2016

Summer has come to an end for Carondelet students who returned to campus on Aug. 15. While summer can be a great time for relaxing, catching up with friends and earning a little spending money, many Carondelet students also experienced life-changing internships, trips and service learning opportunities. Here are just a few examples of what our students have been up to:

Sophia A. ‘18

Sophia returned to Puerto Vallarta to visit and help children in an impoverished part of Mexico. Through a nonprofit organization she founded called Para Ti Global, she distributed school supplies to 100+ children, along with toothbrushes and toothpaste. Her organization also hosted an ice cream social and played football with the children. During this visit she was also able to begin an after school program for all the teenagers in the program.

Sophia's goal is to continue funding the program for teens, and she hopes to return again in December.

Isabella B. '19

Since the age of 6, Isabella has been a member of the Benicia based VOENA choir and this summer she shared her musical passion by organizing and instructing 19 students, ages 5-13 years old at a summer camp. She lead students through classic choir repertoire, solfège, clapping, rhythm, drum patterns, and choreography.

Isabella experienced the fun, and challenges of a choir and percussion director. Teaching students how to stay focused, and on pitch when singing, involved daily exercises, and lots of patience! "Clapping and drum rhythms were very challenging for some and took a lot of repetition to learn, but the kids were amazing, enthusiastic, and everyone had a great time!" said Isabella. The week ended with a wonderful recital performed by the students for family and friends.

Nicole C. ‘17

Nothing compares to the feeling of seeing 30 young smiling faces running toward you everyday. This was my daily experience in Ghana, West Africa for two weeks last summer while participating in the Global Leadership Adventures, Children of Africa program. Through this program, I was given the opportunity to work with and teach English to primary school children. It was an experience like no other and it changed my life.

Since returning, I’ve experienced the highest highs from reconnecting with my friends and family; and the lowest lows missing my new friends. I’m fairly sure I’ll never connect with a group of people in quite the same way as I did with those in Africa. They taught me joy, helped me find strength and judged me on nothing but my character, smile and energy. I was truly honored to live in Africa for a few moments in my life.

Sophia C. '17

This summer, Sophia had a rare opportunity to live out her dream as an aspiring archaeologist. She took advantage of an opening for a "highly qualified high school student" to work alongside undergraduate and graduate students from around the world at an archaeological dig in Greece led by world-class archaeologists. Sophia spent four weeks in the ancient town of Pylos, located in the Peloponnese, where she excavated 3500 year old artifacts from the Mycenaean period. She worked at the dig site six days a week, eight hours a day, and in the evenings attended lectures detailing the history of the region, archaeological theory and artifact analysis. Each student also had the opportunity to work in the labs analyzing and classifying the artifacts uncovered at the site while working with a variety of specialists, including ceramic analysts, zooarchaeologists, and palaeoethnobotanists. One of the high points of the trip was when the President of Greece visited the site while she was excavating. It truly was an incredible summer!

Joanne M. ‘17

Over the summer, I had the incredible opportunity to intern at the Contra Costa County Public Defender’s Office. As attorney support, I shadowed a criminal defense lawyer and got a firsthand look at how the judicial system works. I gained insight into the world of criminal defense by sitting in on interviews with defendants and their families, observing court proceedings, writing up subpoenas, contacting school districts for juvenile cases, and organizing and filing case notes. This experience made me appreciate the hard work and dedication public defenders put into helping people who cannot afford legal representation. With a better understanding of what a lawyer does, this internship will definitely help me if I decide to pursue a degree and a career in law.

Katie P. '17

Katie spent the summer pursuing her desire to go into television screenwriting and production by attending screenwriting workshops at Occidental College and Relativity Studios in Hollywood. But the most exciting thing she did was she moderated four Comic Con style panels in two different states and got to meet stars from television and film.

She traveled to Iowa to interview stars Sean Maguire, Robbie Kay, and Rebecca Mader from the ABC television show Once Upon a Time. Then in Sacramento, she interviewed Scott Wilson from the Walking Dead and Dennis O'Hare from American Horror Story... with a special appearance by film and television star Evan Peters.

Katie plans to continue working with event organizers and she hopes she'll get to moderate international panels next year.

Maggie S. '18

This summer Maggie spent a week in Milwaukee at the Milwaukee School of Engineering attending a pre-college nursing camp with other students from around the country. She stayed in the dorms and spent the week touring local hospitals’ nursing units including intensive care, neo-natal and flight for life. The class gave her daily hands on experience with high-tech simulations to help her learn how to care for patients, and taught basic nursing techniques like how to start an IV. In the picture above, Maggie is in the obstetrics simulation room, caring for a newborn.

Samantha S. '17

This summer, I participated in the Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program at the Twitter headquarters in San Francisco. Over the course of seven weeks, I learned multiple programming languages, networked with professionals in the technology industry, and challenged my work ethic and ability to learn difficult concepts. I strived to reach my full potential and because of this experience, I want to study computer science in college.

On the last day of the program, I was incredibly sad to have one of the most impactful experiences of my life come to an end. As I sat in my chair in the conference room, none other than Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter, walked in and bid farewell to us.

I am determined to do whatever it takes to put myself in the best position possible for my future endeavors, and my experiences this summer only solidified that feeling.

Cassidy T. '18

This summer, I visited Cuba only a few months after the United States restored diplomatic relations with the nation since the ban on travel and embargo was imposed in 1959. Since Cuba has a Marxist-Leninist one party government, I was very excited to meet with University of Havana/Harvard professor and sociologist Dr. Marta Nunez and learn about communism, Cuba’s culture, religion and its people. I visited communist ration stores, ate at several state-run restaurants, toured Revolution Square, the US Embassy, Ernest Hemingway’s home and even got to drive around town in 1950s cars, which are common in Cuba because of the embargo.

This was a particularly interesting visit because I also studied Cuba as part of my summer course in ethnic studies through the College of Siskiyous.

Did you have a unique experience over the summer you'd like to share?

Students (or parents) can use our online form to submit a short article (150 words or less) and one photo to tell us about the cool things they did this summer. We will be featuring these stories on our website, through e-news and on social media. It's one more way for us to celebrate our students' success!