For 21 years I was the teacher who had to teach, prep, and evaluate student presentations. Today I got to just sit and enjoy. For two hours I listened to young people at YearUp in San Francisco make PowerPoint presentations on a variety of tech companies. They did an admirable job and I learned something too.
I have been tutoring on Thursday afternoons at YearUp for a few weeks now and today the students invited me to sit in on their presentations as there would be no tutoring session. I was delighted to go and see what they had learned and see all of them in action. Well, one half of the class. The other half was upstairs, presenting there.
They were poised, well dressed, articulate, and in all cases, but one, shared the platform with a partner. I could tell they had practiced the give and take of doing a joint presentation. A few of the teams even threw in some light-hearted banter. Probably to relieve the stress on their end. Many of the students stopped to introduce themselves to me and to chat for a few moments. It was a nice effort on their part and one I thoroughly appreciated, knowing how hard it is to train young people to make that effort.
Tutoring at YearUp has been a joyful experience for this former teacher. These are young people, 18-24, who have graduated from high school but want an advantage so have applied to YearUp for an extra year of training, much like what the students in the Marketing Academy received while in high school. They will get a 5-month internship at local companies, giving them experience to put on a resume. All good preparation for continuing with college and/or going to work. From today’s presentations, I would say they are on their way to successful futures.