On Tuesday, May 24, a group of students from Chief Kitsap Academy visited the University of Washington for a college immersion day.
Sponsored by SEFS, the Graduate Opportunities and Minority Achievement Program (GO-MAP), and the wǝɫǝbʔaltxʷ – Intellectual House, the Immersion day gave the Chief Kitsap students an opportunity to explore a range of college experiences. For most of them, it was their first time visiting a college campus, says Jessica Hernandez, a first-year graduate student at SEFS and one of the main organizers of the event. Their day started with a classroom lecture—ESRM 101A: Forest and Society—with Professor Kristiina Vogt and guest speaker Mike Marchand, and later included a tour of the Intellectual House and then undergraduate presentations from students in the iSchool.
Back in March, the Vogt lab joined the iSchool students out at Chief Kitsap Academy to work with them on the creation of apps to visualize climate change and their personal footprint on the environment. The Immersion Day, in turn, provided a great follow-up to those initial interactions, as well as a broader introduction to the university community and experience.
Chief Kitsap Academy is a tribal school that supports the Suquamish Tribe’s mission of respecting diversity and ancestral heritage, and encouraging lifelong learning. Partnering with the school is one of several projects Jessica is involved with, including the Lummi Youth Academy and Indigenous Wellness Research Institute, around empowering indigenous youth to enter STEAM fields (science, technology, engineering, art and math). In her outreach efforts, she focuses on the revitalization of ancestral knowledge and language, and integrating traditional knowledge with scientific concepts.
Photo © Jessica Hernandez.