The Art of Public Speaking

Students were treated to a workshop on Public Speaking, lead by guest speaker and career coach, Katie Volz (bio below). Ms. Volz focused on important presentation techniques that will be beneficial for students as they head into their final social enterprise presentations.

Students will be presenting their plans beginning on Thursday and will be hosting an open “marketplace” to allow all groups to present the details of their plan, including their ventures’  business plans, marketing materials, and financial modelings on Friday.



Katie Volz

Formerly the Director of Career Counseling and Operations for NYU’s Stern School of Business, Katie Rayhawk Volz is a career coach with SixFigureStart, working with individuals to assess their career interests and prepare them for the job market. She works with students and alumni pursuing careers in the area of finance, consulting, government and social enterprise, among others.  Katie has developed and led numerous career-related workshops and programs on topics such as networking, résumé writing, interviewing, and self-assessment, and a host of other leadership skills.

Prior to joining Stern, Ms. Volz was an Assistant Vice President at Merrill Lynch, where she led the campus recruiting efforts at more than 20 undergraduate and graduate business schools across the country, including Columbia University, MIT, University of Michigan and Stanford. She began her career at PricewaterhouseCoopers, where she assisted with Partner Development Programs and recruited for PwC’s Management Consulting Services.

Ms. Volz received a BA in Psychology from the University of Dayton and an MA in Counseling from New York University.

Goodbye from the “Sawa Sawa Lady”

There is a popular Swahili phrase that we use in Kenya (the country where I grew up). It is “sawa sawa” which means it is all good or everything is well.  Every year I teach my students this phrase.  As a result, I have come to be known as Ms. Sawa Sawa, Dr. Sawa Sawa, or the Sawa Sawa Lady.

As the Academic Director of the program, I had the opportunity to supervise the academic team made up of five amazing faculty (college professors and experts in media, public policy, communications,  and geography) who dedicated many hours to make sure that the 2012 Leaders for Social Change program was a life changing experience for our students. After three weeks of teaching, mentoring, and training we have come to the end of what was a very important leadership journey for our students. We have pushed our students hard, stretched them beyond their comfort zones, and challenged them to think critically about themselves and the world around them; this is because we see the leadership potential in each one of them.

One of my favorite quotes is by American educator, Daniel J. Boorstin who says, “Education is learning what you didn’t even know you didn’t know.” I wish our future leaders the very best as they continue to pursue their educational goals! I urge them to remember, “The great aim of education is not knowledge, but action!” (Herbert Spencer).

Kwaheri ya kuonana (goodbye until we meet again)!

-Dr. Anyango Reggy, Academic Director

Check Out Our Students’ Online Social Action Plans!

Click the following Links to See the Projects Students have been working on! Like their pages to show your support!

Talent Show Extravaganza!

Hello from Yale!

At 8pm last night, students and staff filled up Sudler Hall to watch their friends show off their skills. We couldn’t believe the talent and we were so glad they shared! Congratulations to our winners – Amanda Fazio, Joe Manuel, Alessandro Zito, and David Li!! Please check Flickr later today for all of the pictures from the talent show and have fun watching the videos below!

Alessandro and David – Party Rock

Joe – Juggling

Jimena – Flamenco

David – I’m Yours/Pricetag

Alessandro & Megan – Hamlet

Amanda – Acapella

Megan, Araceli and Amanda – RA Impersonations

Amanda & RA Kyle – Adele

Megan – Teach me how to Dougie

Jeronimo – Original Song

RA Kyle – Backflip!


Until next time!

Marissa Bates, Residential Life Director


Last Weekend of Excursions

This weekend marked our last couple of excursions that we had planned for the program.  On Friday afternoon, we had one of our own students share her knowledge and skills in karate.  Rowan showed the group some basic selfdefense moves and they had a great time learning from one of their peers!  Later on Friday night, the group made a trip to Redwood City to see Spiderman in the movie theaters.  Some of our die-hard Spiderman fans thought “the movie didn’t live up to the first movies” but in the end they all had a fun night!

On Saturday, we went to Santa Cruz beach.  At first, the students were weary of a day at the beach due to the weather – it was a little cold and cloudy when we arrived, but it quickly warmed up and turned into a beautiful day.  Some ate at local restaurants, some went shopping, others tried out the amusement rides andeveryone enjoyed the beach!

Sunday was our Union Square and Giants baseball game day.  A few students who preferred to go back to Union Square (to get some shopping in!) spent the afternoon in the city and the rest of the group went to see the San Francisco Giants play the Houston Astros.  For many, this was their first time at a baseball game and it was a beautiful day!  We sat with the ASA Berkeley group, so some of  our students even got to catch up with their friends in the other program.  Although it was a little cold and windy, on our way home, we made a quick stop at the Golden Gate Bridge (what trip to San Francisco would be complete without seeing the bridge!?).

We have a lot on the calendar for this week and we know the last few days are going to fly by!



What our students have been up to in the classroom

It’s hard to believe that we’re already at the end of Week 2! At the end of last week, students met with their ally action groups and selected a key global issue for their class project. Topics range from education, recycling, and obesity to child labor, nuclear energy, and teenage homelessness.

This week, we dove right into strategic planning. Students learned and debated key concepts such as visions, missions, goals, and objectives. They challenged themselves by giving impromptu speeches on their projects in front of their class and interviewing other groups to identify the strengths and weakness of their classmates’ campaigns. They also turned to their creative side to come up with a slogan and to brainstorm creative ways to express their group’s message.

Two guest speakers joined us this week. Pamela Fong, from Safe Passages, discussed challenges in the public education system in Oakland, CA. Anna Sidana, the Founder and CEO of One Million Lights, talked about the lack of safe, clean lighting in impoverished areas. She shared some inspiring stories of young leaders making a difference and encouraged our students to get involved in bringing about social change.

This weekend, Austin Keeley, our guest speaker from last Friday, will be returning to campus to conduct a workshop for many of our students, who expressed interest in starting a chapter of FACE AIDS at their high schools. Next week, students will be busy improving their verbal and written communication skills to prepare for the Press Conference and Campaign Fair scheduled on July 19th and 20th!

Oh, We’re Halfway There!

This week and a half has already flown by, we can’t believe we’re already halfway through our Summerfuel camp!  We’ve been busy sightseeing Fisherman’s Wharf, Ghirardelli Square, and Union Square in San Francisco.  On Sunday, the group went to Great America in Santa Clara to get their fill of roller coasters and funnel cake!

Some of the other fun activities they’ve been doing after class are glow in the dark bowling, sand volleyball (which was a surprisingly BIG hit!), writing postcards, going to the Stanford driving range, trying out the campus’ olympic sized swimming pool.  The kids even put on their very own karaoke night!


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ASA Yale Program Director Interview with Professor Moitoso

How is the class experience?

The class experience for the students (and for me) is enlightening.  We are applying and learning important leadership and business concepts that I have learned in my life and in my work, as a teacher and an Executive Director of a non-profit organization.  For instance, I am teaching the students about strategic planning, leadership styles, and management.  What I appreciate about my role as their teacher is that I make sure that I have done all the exercises that I am asking them to do.  We are learning together.

What really engages the students?

I think they’re really engaged by working in groups.  Also, they like the give and take conversation style we have in the classroom.  They want to learn about their strengths and weaknesses. We recently did the Lakota Wheel exercise, which is a way for the students to begin to think about their different leadership styles and to begin to learn that diversity can be good for teamwork.

Do high school students need leadership training at this stage in their lives?

In a perfect or ideal world, everyone would have access to this kind of training.  There are constant messages that youth do not have a voice, that they are not empowered to actually get involved in a meaningful way, and that big issues are something adults take care of as part of their adult responsibilities.  However, students do have a voice and a right to use it to make a change in the world.  We, at Summerfuel, are providing some strategies and skills to make sure they go about using their voice effectively.

What do you think about the students’ experience being on a college campus?

This is what you and this team, as representatives of ASA, really care about, which is giving them practice at being responsible before they head off to college.  Here, they learn how to balance social and academic responsibilities.  It also doesn’t hurt that they are attending one the most prestigious universities in the world.  ASA at Yale is a great place for them to learn leadership tools that I only learned as an adult in my work as Executive Director of a nonprofit.

Tell me something you’ve learned from your students.

I have learned that the ‘high school experience’ is very similar for most students, regardless of where they come from in the world.  Many of them report that high school can be challenging because students are often boxed into categories — ‘jocks’, ‘nerds,’ etc.  All of them find these categories restricting.

Tell me a random fun fact about yourself, Lenny.

Well, I had a mouse sushi last week at a New Haven restaurant.  I think it says a lot about my willingness and openness to trying new things.

How was the mouse sushi?

Mousey, let’s say.  I probably won’t have it again.

Tell me one value a leader must have.

Dedication.  There is nothing more important than being committed to your work or your cause.