I have the results of not one, but two meetings to share with you this week. One meeting was for the academic assistants at Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation (Snider Hockey), and the other was for post-secondary counselors at Snider Hockey. I will share with you a little about each position’s role in Snider Hockey and the respective meetings.
As mentioned earlier, Snider Hockey is an organization that provides free youth hockey programs (including equipment) to children from Philadelphia and Camden. These programs, however, are only a small piece of Snider Hockey’s broader mission. Snider Hockey uses hockey as a platform to teach other valuable life skills while also offering academic assistance and post-secondary counseling to its students. This is incredibly valuable as in Philadelphia and Camden, many of these students’ schools have eliminated youth sports, academic assistance, and college counseling due to budgetary constraints. By offering these services, Snider Hockey boasts that 99% of their participants graduate high school (including some who enter the program at risk for dropping out) in cities where the graduation rates are around 50%.
What struck me most about the academic assistant meeting and my visits to the rinks is how resourceful the academic assistants are to provide tutoring at hockey rinks given that the rinks pre-date Snider Hockey and were not designed to be academic spaces. Despite this challenge, the meeting and my observations really reinforced for me the value of having a one- on- one tutor. The ability to offer student-centered assistance is a very powerful tool that they can use to positively influence these students’ educations. This is why I wish to help Snider Hockey in my role as an intern; I especially enjoy working with the academic assistants to become even more resourceful so as to increase the already large impact on their students.
During the post-secondary counselor meeting, the observation that no student is lost in the organization really stuck out to me. I watched for ten minutes as the eight college counselors, who each work at different rinks, reviewed supports for students. I would hear one counselor say that she was still waiting to meet with a student, only to have another counselor say that the student had met with her. Despite the long list, it turned out that only a handful of students had yet to meet with post-secondary counselors and they were able to make a plan for each of them. I will participate in helping these counselors is in designing programs for students who have graduated from Snider Hockey, but have not yet decided to attend college or find a full-time job. The organization wishes to create programs that can continually mentor students after they graduate with skills such as resume writing, interviewing, and finding a career. I am extremely excited for this opportunity to help design and possibly lead some of these workshops!
Thanks for reading and will see you again soon I hope!