Summer Bridge Spotlight: Breanna Escamilla
Meet Breanna Escamilla, one of four participants selected for the 2022 Summer Bridge program.
She is a PhD student in Anthropology. This summer, Breanna worked with community partner Driven to Reach Excellence & Academic Achievement for Males (DREAAM). DREAAM builds trauma-informed programming for boys and young men in the C-U community aimed at sustaining a culture of achievement, engagement and behavioral health.
How have you applied your humanistic training to advance the mission of the community organization?
I value that our work in the humanities endeavors to move with the communities we engage and learn with. In my current work it has been really exciting to see skills gained and developed in my graduate studies career applied to support this community organization. As an organization centered around reaching, teaching, and empowering community youth, volunteers play an integral role in shaping the experiences of community participants. In my role, I have been working most directly with the Volunteer Coordinator to strengthen the training and experiences of volunteers in their time with the organization. In addressing areas in need, some project components have included surveying relevant literature, thinking through possible strategies with others, and developing tools from these processes that support the long-term experiences and retention of volunteers.
How has this experience contributed to your career development? What skills have you gained or developed?
In this experience I have gained a valuable understanding of how my professional training and experiences in graduate school can translate into new contexts. In approaching some of my work projects, it has been affirming to see how the translation of my skills affirms my capacity to approach new projects where I may not have specific prior experience. As I think about my career development, this experience has affirmed the malleability of my skills and capacity to couple them with new ideas and methods.
What have you learned from working with this community organization?
Coupled with previous skills, I have also been able to learn about other methods that structure the vision of the community organization and its educational focus. In developing materials for the organization, I have had the opportunity to learn about new topics such as service and emotional learning.
Is there anything else you’d like to share about your Summer Bridge program experience?
In addition to the opportunity to work with a community organization, it has been very generative to have the support of HWW in facilitating spaces for us to be reflective of our experiences, challenges, and insights during our time with the program.