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Aguila Symposium held at ASU West Campus,
Honoring Box Activity in partnership with the Cultural Arts Coalition on Friday, June 26, 2009, 6:00- 9:00 PM
Leadership: We Remember, We Recognize, We Believe
AGUILA Youth Leadership Institute is a year round program that provides youth of Latino heritage with the necessary college knowledge to achieve their dreams of a college degree. Seminars are held once a month and students are required to attend and actively participate in all activities that will contribute to their college knowledge. Participation in the Institute comes with special privileges as well as access to a variety of resources, experiences and a network of professionals dedicated to assisting an Aguilita.
Rosemary Ybarra-Hernandez, MPA, CEO/Founder of AGUILA Youth Leadership
Institute. AGUILA, a private nonprofit, is a tax-exempt 501© (3) charitable organization.
Mission Statement: To empower and prepare Latino/Latina youth for college admissions and graduation through a unique approach based upon a greater cultural understanding as a guide to personal, academic and professional achievement.
No nonprofit is able to function without its Board of Directors and volunteers. These persons give countless hours unselfishly to support the mission of their chosen organization. We thank them...
The Cultural Arts Coalition partnered with AGUILA to provide a 3-hour arts workshop for 130 high school and 22 college youth as the conclusion of a 2-day symposium with guest speakers and information necessary to assist participants in moving toward a college education.
Symbols and Honoring Boxes (Spaces)
Lesson plan written by judy butzine and Melanie Ohm, June 09
The primary Goal of this lesson plan is to create a material form that objectifies the act of giving honor and respect to the processes of Personal Remembrance and Intention Setting.
Melanie Ohm, Concepts Consulting in collaboration with the Cultural Arts Coalition, reviews with the Resident Advisors, the steps for this 3 hour program, instructed at the training session the previous week. The RA’s – both current college students and graduates - are AGUILA Alumni.
First, the reading of the book in the “Circle of Power”. The RA’s and their “familias” (student cohorts) separated into groups of 15 participants to begin discussion and reading.
The 3-hour activity is also based on the concept of symbolism, which predates language as a means of communication. Symbols retain their expressive power and value in our society today, and are revealed in the youths’ stories of self and goals for the future by creating Honoring Boxes as material forms that illustrate values, ideas and beliefs.
Meanwhile ASU graduates and artists Dulce Juarez and Francisco Garcia from the Cultural Arts Coalition review for themselves the evening program and how they will assist the RA’s and the student participants.
Table set up for the Honoring Box activity to take place once the reading of the book introduces the context.
judy butzine, co-founder/co-director of the Cultural Arts Coalition sets the stage in the center of the room as visual reinforcement for the concept of symbolism and Honoring Boxes as a material means to convey a person’s story.
The evening begins with a dialogue about SYMBOLISM. Silvia Rodriguez (Cultural Arts Coalition) looks on.
Each page of this bilingual story about Cesar Chavez is read as the book is passed around and a key thought on that page is discussed by all. These thoughts are recorded for synopsis and review as a group later.
Cesar Chavez: The Struggle for Justice
by Richard Griswold Del Castillo (Author)
Beginning with Chavez's early childhood on his parents' farm in Arizona, the biography tells of the family's time as migrant workers during the Depression. It also discusses Chavez's long years working to organize the United Farm Workers and his determination to use non-violent means to overcome discrimination. These actions were inspired by Gandhi. Chavez often went on hunger strikes and led labor strikes and boycotts. The history professor Griswold del Castillo presents the story of the struggle led by a brave American worker who made a difference. A useful time line at the back of the book summarizes Chavez's life and politics. This book communicates a thoughtful and meaningful lesson for youth today.
Everyone found this reflective time to begin the total workshop a powerful means to recognize and set one’s own goals for life.
After the book was read, discussion of the following questions prepared participants for the honoring box activity:
ALL of the student participants now visit the table in the center of this large space to review their discussion of symbolism.
Wonderful conversations arose around the paintings and artworks of Luis Gutierrez, Martin Moreno and a Mexican artist’s creative expressions.
Francisco Garcia had just finished this painting of Frida Kahlo for his mother and brought it for the evening.
The Honoring Box – Some Background
Let the activities begin...
In creating the Honoring Box, the youth were asked 3 questions that motivating questions:
Creating an Honoring Box
Resident Advisor, Jesus, with his designated group, Hot Latinos
There is always some down time to create the small diversions that keep the evening fun
RAs are dedicated AGUILA Alumni who come back to the nest and live by their motto, Pay It Forward, by caring and guiding those Aguilitas who follow them. A critical component of AGUILA is the continuation of “familia” in bonding as a developmental asset contributing to college success.
Meanwhile the hour and a half honoring box activity continues to evolve with the addition of symbolic beads.
Music is of course continuously playing in the background. For this almost 2 hour block of time the sounds and rhythms of Quetzal Guerrero were sent out ...
Youth were asked in their introduction letter to the symposium to bring pictures of family and loved ones who have been their mentors.
Many thoughtful minutes were spent looking through magazines for those meaningful phrases and symbols that intuitively inspired a moment of reflection that resonated with each youth on a personal level.
Then finally the moment of each person sharing the story of their box with the rest of the group.
Questions were presented for the evaluation of the total evening’s workshop. Note some of the answers at the end of this review.
ALL 140 youth created a box and reflected upon its Meaning & Significance to their lives...
A perfect moon to end a perfect evening of honoring self through Remembrance and Response as one continues the journey through education and life...
Reflections on the Honoring Box Activity (JUST A FEW)
Honoring Ourselves and Envisioning Our Futures
June 26, 2009
That I’m different, and I can change my weakness into strengths by looking at the positive side.
My box will remind me of my goals and my present. It will make me visualize all I want out of life.
It will constantly remind me of who I am.
The Mission of the Cultural Arts Coalition, Arizona: 501 (c) 3, a nonpartisan organization in existence since 2005: stimulates creative, analytical and leadership development for personal transformation and collective change through celebrations and multidisciplinary learning experiences.
Music used with permission from Quetzal Guerrero.
CD is Cascabel by Querrero and Gustavo Angles. Song El Coronel written by Quetzal
Quetzal’s musical exploration began in 1986 when, at the age of four, he began studying the classical violin method of Suzuki and in the following year traveled to Matsumoto, Japan to further his studies at the Suzuki International Institute. His meticulous skills lead him to be the featured violinist for the Conservatorio Pernambucano de Musicas annual recital in Recife, Brazil.