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  • Writer's pictureElliot Washor

Elliot Washor's TGIF 4.7.2023

“Are you with me now?” AJ Ryder

Are you in with the in-crowd?


For Lower-Income Students, Big Tech Internships Can Be Hard to Get is a story that fits neatly into why we do what we do that gets students connected to adults around their interests. According to this article, lower income students with degrees from more affordable local colleges and universities are finding it difficult to land internships with the Google’s of the world. The writer makes a case that acquiring these internships is akin to the admissions process for getting into an elite college. If these companies keep saying publicly you no longer need to have a college degree or go to elite colleges to secure well-paying tech jobs why is it so hard to land internships with them? What’s going on? The article gives us the data and the stories from students applying for hundreds of positions in these tech companies and barely getting a response. As the article shows this is not about getting a degree or a certification but about who you know. This simple statement from the article reveals the difference.

“He did not know anyone in the industry who could put in a good word for him with tech recruiters.”

For three decades we have pushed in and leaned in and on an educational system that rarely let’s students engage with adult mentors outside of school. We know just by doing so, the problem of getting work, the way wealthy or the in-crowd get work will move the needle quite a bit for students not born into the in-crowd. Anyone listening, yet?

April 4th 1968 was the day that Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated. Holy Week: The Story of a Revolution Undone is an eight-part series just out on what happened after MLK’s assassination. This April 4th was also the day on Barbados where Vauxhall Primary School was officially renamed after Barbadian-born, Shirley Anita St Hill Chisholm, the first black woman elected to the United States Congress and run for US President. Current and future students at the newly named Shirley Chisholm Primary School, are being encouraged to follow the legacy of their namesake and "chart new territory". On Barbados there will be a year-round celebration of Shirley Chisholm starting on her birthday November 30th. I’ll follow this story up with our students on Barbados as part of the chapter I’m writing for Shirley Chisholm’s book.

And now this April 4th, it was also the day of Trump’s arraignment. Hmm?








Blue Zones


Here’s our students – Jasmin, Angel and Juan on a road trip from Providence to Brevard, North Carolina studying one of the 60 Blue Zones in the US. You can go here and see their stories. Great stuff. And, Danique & students have just put on their latest episode of Big Picture Living’s Time to Live!, a podcast series where students discuss healthy living, health equity and the importance of lifestyle medicine. These podcasts are getting better and better. Everyone is finding their groove.

BaltimoreFishbowl.com. AdvocateChannel.com

“I speak two languages Body and English.” Mae West

After watching the NCAA Women’s Finals last Wednesday, I can’t help commenting briefly here on what took place regarding the gestures of Angel Reese and Caitlin Clarke. For me, there is a story here about the power of gesturing as communication. The racial overtones that the media picked up on regarding how each player was treated differently while making similar gestures is a big part of this story. Who gestures what, took the spotlight. Then, later this week, the other photo above shows three legislators from Tennessee who faced expulsion from the state legislature because of their views on gun control. Presently, Justin Jones and Justin Pearson have been expelled and Gloria Johnson has not. Hmm? My question is: how is gesturing as a form of communication credited and honored in school? ‘Nuff said.


On Wednesday, I visited the Bridgeport International Academy (BIA). Former NY Knick, Charles Smith is associated with the school and he asked me to stop by on my way to NYC. BIA is known as the most diverse school in Connecticut around race, class and gender. Fifty percent of their students are from Bridgeport and the school supports most of their students who can’t afford their low tuition. Students come from all over the world. Because of Charles Smith they have a sports program for athletes from around the world, mostly Africa. Two of their students are over 7 feet tall. At the same time I was there, Homeland Security was at a meeting at BIA because this school has the permission to bring in high school students from other countries.

Shades of The Met in its original inception, BIA is in a building that was once a house. When we started the Met we envisioned being in houses in the community where we would be about 50 students in each of our 12 small schools. BIA is a mom and pop operation doing real nice work in many ways. I’m sure, we will be having further conversation.

Finally, here's a story of a woodworker who left high school at age 16 to become a master craftsman - https://craftsmanship.net/a-new-renaissance-man/?utm_source=substack&utm_medium=email

Be well.

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