A Season of Service at Sport & Medical Sciences Academy
The students at Sport & Medical Sciences Academy are excelling in their service-based Capstone projects. Here are just a few of their stories.
Sameen (pictured above) is working to combat the stigma associated with mental illness. She has already coordinated with the National Alliance on Mental Illness to have a speaker come in to SMSA to share her story with students in Mrs. Portal’s health class. Sameen also reached out to her former private school, and gave a presentation on mental illness, which was ground-breaking for the students because according to Sameen, “Mental illness is just not talked about.”
Over the holiday break, Sameen reached out to the Hartford Public Library and asked if she could man a table of resources she had put together to connect any patrons struggling with mental illness to organizations within their community. She also created handwritten inspirational notes that were there for the taking. Sameen’s goals this year include getting more comfortable with speaking to the public, toward which she has taken huge steps through her Capstone.
Students Ray Tirado, Brandon Mercado, Connor Hasson, Isaiah Sierra, Jordan Rivera and Alejandro Soriano: Roberto Clemente Day
The Roberto Clemente Life Commemoration Committee at Sport & Medical Sciences Academy closed out 2019 with a strong message of service. Teacher, Alex Mercado along with the entire Roberto Clemente Committee including students, Ray Tirado, Brandon Mercado, Connor Hasson, Isaiah Sierra, Jordan Rivera and Alejandro Soriano coordinated another successful event on December 31, 2019. Mr. Mercado and his students spent long hours preparing for the event.
The event is always well attended and brings members of the community together to remind of us of how necessary it is to give back just as Roberto Clemente did. The list of speakers included Principal Jose Colon, Mayor Luke Bronin, State Representative Geraldo Reyes, Attorney Jeffrey Dressler, and Superintendent Dr. Leslie Torres-Rodriguez. Once again, Los Gigantes de la Plena provided festive music for all to enjoy.
Senior Taylor Sergeant pulled off a large holiday dinner for the residents at the Howey House in New Britain. Please learn more at the below linked story from the New Britain Herald, highlighting Taylor’s dinner for residents recovering from homelessness. Taylor accomplished this on her own securing Texas Roadhouse and Dunkin’ Donuts as sponsors of the dinner. Taylor knew in September that this is what she wanted to do, and she followed through.
Gloria Bachand is teaching herself how to communicate in sign language after an experience as a lifeguard with hearing impaired patrons at her community pool. She has progressed from learning letters to phrases, and is hoping to work up to holding a conversation. Gloria has taught two of our seniors how to communicate with their customers at Dunkin Donuts who are hearing impaired, and has given a mini lesson to her entire class.
Recently, she took a big step by attempting to communicate with a swimmer at her place of work and details the experience in her journal.
Gloria recounts, “Finally, on Saturday he came in again …… and I took that as an opportunity to sign ‘my name is Gloria’. Once I did that his face lit up and he got so happy which made me happy. He then proceeded to sign his name and then hug me, and signed, ‘See ya!'”
For more information about student service projects at SMSA, please contact Amy Boutilier, Capstone Coordinator.