Life Lessons from Improv
Ryan from Virginia Stage Company returned for another dramatic workshop of improv and storytelling. Theater classes are a great way for youth to practice critical thinking skills and creativity in an environment that builds a sense of community and friendship. New youth and our more seasoned youth teamed up to tell a story following a “Yes, and…” model. We created twists and turns of love, family, war, and even an apocalyptic world. Our youths’ imagination knows no bounds!
Remember to say UNO OUT!
Success Coach Davien Armstrong and some NSTS youth got into a competitive game of Uno during free time. Encouraging youth to engage in fun activities without depending on phones unhealthy behaviors is a huge part of what makes Next Step To Success such an enriching environment – as long as Nevaeh doesn’t hold any grudges for having to draw six cards.
Foosball can build bridges in ways we never imagined. Sibling bonds and youth from different countries come together to protect their goal and go head-to-head against their peers in friendly competition. Meeting new people can be tough but fighting for a common goal uses teamwork as the key to making new friends.
Is that an airplane overhead or my stomach just growling? Family-style dinner are a delicious way to practice healthy conversational skills. They also remind us that no matter how different we are, the NSTS family bond can never be broken. Around our table, we debate the best condiments for potato wedges, ask lots of “Would you rather” questions, and give feedback on the day’s activities. Eating together as a family is an important way to end the day. No distractions, just good food and engaging conversation.
The pandemic made it hard for our youth to get the fresh air we all need. NSTS believes outdoor play and team activities they may have missed for for a long time. Whether it’s trying to beat site manager Muhanma in a game of basketball or going back to our childhood with Duck, Duck Goose, movement activities help instill healthy habits and give us tons of laughs while we’re on the go.
Help With Academics
Academic support gives youth a structured time to focus on bettering themselves in productive ways. Each day, youth have several options for academic activities: homework and studying for school, one-on-one time with coaches to go over grades and ways to improve, crossword puzzles and brain teasers, silent reading or drawing, chess, online academic games, and more. Youth choose their path to be productive and get a brain break after to reset their minds.
ConEmIfYouCan.org is a helpful finance game that exposes youth to many practices and techniques used to scam or take advantage of someone. They learn how to see through false promises and practice savvy financial thinking. Our high schoolers continued their Character Education Workshops with a competition to see who could earn the most money in the game. Congratulations Elijah for being the Scam Skeptic and winning your candy prize.
Tidewater Tech Tour
Thanks to the dedicated staff of Tidewater Tech for hosting six NSTS youth on a hands-on tour. Youth practiced skills for building maintenance and fixing light switches, changing tires, and welding. Above all, we learned the importance of staying safe and feeling confident in the potential for a career in a skilled trade. We can’t wait to see some of our youth walk those halls as adults following the steps of the Success Sequence.