For Everett students who opt for the GISES major or minor, the Project Practicum is the culmination of their whole time in Everett and usually their baccalaureate careers. The Practicum is their chance to debrief on the previous year of preparation, refinement, failures, successes, and everything else that goes into doing a project.
If you are a current or prospective UCSC student, you should check out gises.everettprogram.org to learn more about major requirements.
For my main project I completed a digital storytelling project on low-income black communities, in the rural areas of South Africa. The low-income communities of Johannesburg called townships, in South Africa, are increasingly being affected with pollution from mining corporations, with a particular emphasis on coal mining. Health deterioration is becoming more prevalent in these communities, due to: soil, air and water pollution.
This project created the knowledge base and capability of the Everett Program to digitize survey efforts in partnership with community organizations and research centers. Main achievements include producing the digitized version of a 300 question survey, and training 40 undergraduate students in conducting the survey on tablets, resulting in the collection of 406 surveys over a six-week period.
From July 1, 2015 to September 15, 2015, Lili taught computer literacy courses for the staff members at the Somkhanda Game Reserve. Her ultimate goal was to increase efficiency in the workplace and to equip the staff with skills that their education system didn't provide. The majority had access to education but lacked computer skills. Most of the staff on the reserve were Gumbi tribe members. After several land claims, the Gumbi were able to claim ownership of the land that is now The Somkhanda Game Reserve. They have partnered with African Insight and Wildland's Conservation Trust to manage the reserve.
To address the lack of adequate educational and health resources for Los Angeles foster youth, I worked to build the communications and development capacity for United Friends of the Children that serves approximately 1,700 foster youths. As a result, UFC was able to focus their communications strategy to include long term engagement and awareness that would financially support their programs and serve a greater number of foster youth through their education and housing programs.
Prison Yoga Project (PYP) is fighting for restorative justice by teaching and holding frequent trainings guiding yoga teachers on how to teach in prison. This is a restorative justice program, because it gives Inmate access to coping mechanisms and yoga to heal from past and current traumas, possibly leading to lower recidivism. I am assisting them in creating an online community called the Sangha Portal (Sangha meaning community in Sanskrit) to connect the yoga teachers after the trainings.
Ever since the 1990s, the importance of the Internet has been continuously growing especially in today's highly digitized world. In global cities like San Francisco, the ability to maneuver the Internet also becomes an essential job skill. Since these immigrant workers are lacking such essential job skill, they end up in extremely disadvantaged positions where they have little knowledge on labor rights and job information. To bridge the digital gap and language barriers between SRO immigrant workers and the English speaking digital world and to help them to become more self-empowered, I began the SRO Worker's Empowerment Project, facilitating workshops on tablets and conducting English lessons for participants.