Summer Bridge Spotlight: Rayven Morrow

Meet Rayven Morrow, one of four participants selected for the 2022 Summer Bridge program.

Morrow headshot
Rayven Morrow

Rayven is a PhD student in Education Policy, Organization, and Leadership, with a concentration in Gender and Women's Studies. This summer, Rayven worked with community partner CU Freedom School at Garden Hills Academy. CU Freedom School is a summertime and after-school literacy and cultural enrichment program for K–5 students.

How have you applied your humanistic training to advance the mission of the community organization?

I've been able to highlight to traditional K–12 school staff that the kids we work with are more than just numbers or groupings who are "succeeding standards," "meeting standards," or "below standards." I've emphasized that the scholars we work with are multi-faceted and are more than these labels put upon them.

How has this experience contributed to your career development? What skills have you gained or developed?

This experience has taught me a lot about community organizing because, at its core, that's what Freedom Schools is about. Yes, it's about literacy and pro-Blackness, but it's really about connecting with the community in the ways they want/need. Becoming familiar with the community is the only way to be successful when working with them—which is why outsiders have a hard time working in settings like this. I've become very good at identifying free community resources such as libraries and food pantries and communicating with them to help them reach the families they already are eager to reach.

What have you learned from working with this community organization?

I've learned that not every scholar you work with will have an identifiable or documented disability—but the best idea to accommodate them is to make programs, lessons, and activities for everyone, regardless of status!

Is there anything else you’d like to share about your Summer Bridge program experience?

So far, it's been great! I've seen the scholars grow emotionally and it's only been a few weeks. I can't wait for the end to see how far they've come!

More about HWW's Summer Bridge Program