Alejandra grew up in Redwood City and then moved to East Palo Alto (EPA) as an adult. With EPA’s history and reputation, she was hesitant about enrolling her children in any programs. “I was just a little scared of the new and unknown in EPA. Are they going to be bullied? Are they going to pick up bad habits?” On top of that, Alejandra’s children have always gone to school outside of EPA’s school district, which contributed to her feeling disconnected from the community. Having a full-time job, Alejandra had no choice but to find a local program for her children over the summer. “As a working parent, I needed a program that was affordable and would keep them busy.” She began her online search for a summer program that catered to middle school students and stumbled upon BCM’s CREATE Academy. CREATE’s STEAM focus caught Alejandra’s attention and its affordability sealed the deal, and so she decided to give BCM a chance.
CREATE Academy is a 6-week, full-day summer camp available to rising 6th through 8th grades. CREATE students are instructed in mathematics, science, technology and art to strengthen their critical thinking and mathematics skills, as well as grow their confidence in preparation for future opportunities in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) programs and careers.
“They had so much fun their first year in CREATE, that the next year I got my other nieces and nephews to come to CREATE Academy as well!” said Alejandra as she spoke about her children's experience with CREATE Academy. “At first my brother was like me; he was hesitant about entrusting his kids in EPA but with BCM but I told him to just try it! Now my nieces and nephews want to attend CREATE Academy again this year!” Alejandra spoke about how important CREATE Academy’s STEAM focus was and how she felt l it really benefited her children and expanded their knowledge of possible career fields. “They really loved the film class.” said Alejandra as she spoke about how one year, CREATE Academy offered a film class that her children thoroughly enjoyed.
“I can see that they are more confident and have made new friends, some of which have come over to our house,” said Alejandra as she discussed the changes she has seen in her children since they have become a part of the BCM family, attending both summer and school year programming. She went on to discuss how the relationships her children have made at BCM are not superficial, but long lasting, which she said they were lacking before. When asked if she would recommend BCM to other parents, Alejandra said, “Oh yes absolutely! If your child is not doing anything, do you want to keep them busy and learning or just have them sit at home and play video games?!” she continued with a hearty laugh. “It wasn’t easy to find out about BCM, but once I found BCM I loved it! I like the benefits and the exposure to different things it gives my kids. I had to really look but I am so grateful for BCM and blessed to have found this place.”