A Step BeyondWhat's Happening and Other Info

Summer Newsletter 2019 (Roxanne)

Get to know Roxanne: Fun Facts:

 

What are 5 words that best describe you?

Curious, playful, kind, open and positive

What was the career you dreamed of one day having back when you were a kid?

As a child, I dreamed of being an airline flight attendant because they were always smiling and got to travel the world.

 

What are you reading right now?

Children of Blood & Bone, by Tomi Adeyemi

 

What book, movie, or song influenced or inspired you as a youth?

I was very inspired by the flamenco songs I heard growing up in Cadiz, Spain.  Pueblos de la Tierra Mia, by Cameron de la Isla is a beautiful song that captures the vibrant and soulful people of Andalucia. Listening to it transports me through time and space to special time in my life.

 

What would you choose as your personal theme song?

I’m not sure about that! Too many songs speak to me, depending on my mood.   Most are not even in English.  I enjoy music from around the world and usually connect with the feeling and rhythm over lyrics.

 

What do you do for fun when you’re not at ASB?

I swim in the ocean like a mermaid at La Jolla Cove and Caves. I also love to paddle board and kayak all over Southern California.

 

What’s your favorite style of dance? or who’s a favorite choreographer?

My favorite styles of dance are Afro-Cuban, Afro-Brazilian and any other African-American diaspora based dances (ex. Peruvian, Venezuelan, Caribbean…).  All of these dances share the same African roots but have evolved their own unique styles and identities through out the Americas.  My all time favorite choreographer is Alvin Ailey, his brilliance is timeless.

 

Personal motto?

Motion is lotion & use it or lose it!

 

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Summer Newsletter 2019 (Josue)

Get to know Josue: Fun Facts:

 

What are 5 words that best describe you?

Loving, achieving, persistent, outgoing, devoted

 

What was the career you dreamed of one day having back when you were a kid?

I looked up to my grandfather when I was a kid and wanted to be a carpenter like him. He gifted me a set of miniature tools, including a functioning hammer, planer, and saw that I used to build furniture next to him using scrap wood.

 

What are you reading right now?

In preparing for my role at ASB, I am reviewing work by Louis Cozolino, Irvin Yalom, and Bessel Van Der Kolk. But in my leisure, most recently, I read various Roal Dahl short stories, and a couple of Kurt Vonnegut’s books.

 

What book, movie, or song influenced or inspired you as a youth?

I was exposed to a mixture of musical genres of music when I was younger and there are so many great songs I could pick, but Corazón de Niño by Argentine pianist Raúl di Blasio was my favorite. A calm composition for a chaotic environment to keep me centered. I think I heard it once on t.v. and it stuck.

 

What would you choose as your personal theme song?

I’m not sure but probably something fun and uplifting to get me going.

 

What do you do for fun when you’re not at ASB?

I love spending time with my family at home and outdoors. At home, my spouse and I enjoy cooking and watching tv shows or movies together. Outdoors, we enjoy visiting new restaurants and exploring new towns.

 

What’s your favorite style of dance? or who’s a favorite choreographer?

I enjoy the spectrum of wonderful dance styles and the raw energy and expression exuded by the dancers in a performance. Mikhail Baryshnikov, however, remains on my list of dancers I’d like to see perform live.

 

 Personal motto?

Celebrate wins and appreciate good times.

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Let’s Talk Wellness – Tips from Family Services

Let’s talk wellness!!

Self-care is an imperative part of wellness. As social worker, I have always been encouraged and taught that self-care is an important part of our profession. In my experience, I realized that it’s not just important for social worker but is an important part of everyone’s health and overall wellbeing.

What does wellness mean?

The National Wellness Institute defines wellness as the “active process of becoming aware of and making choices toward a more successful existence.” Wellness is a process that consists of increasing awareness and choosing options that result in growth and balance.

At A Step Beyond we know that our youth are making life choices that impact their health in significant ways. Our youth face difficult situations and struggles with, school, peers, relationships, family dynamics, and stress. We make sure our students have access to a social worker and social work interns, and have the opportunity to talk about their wellness, meeting in small groups, and for one-on-one check-ins. During these sessions they are encouraged to evaluate their own health and their current life habits and to set goals that they choose and that they believe are important to build a healthy life. Our goal is when our students leave our organization, they will have the skills and tools to live a happier and healthier life.

Here are some suggestions to help you reach your own personal wellness goals!

  1. Use a Strength Approach – Remember that self-care is a process and we do not have a perfect self-care plan. Switch negative thoughts to positive thinking!
  2.  Create SMART plan – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-Limited.
  3. Enlist Support – Enlist support from people, group support, calendar reminders, books, and other materials.
  4. Set Aside Time to Reflect – You may do this alone or in conversation. Reflecting will help you think about what is working for you or not. How have you been feeling? What do you need to reach your own personal wellness?

Remember that everyone’s approach is different and self-care takes practice, but the journey can result in positive wellbeing. A Step Beyond values the well-being of each and every person, and encourages you to take the steps to enhance you own personal well-being.

Below are some recommendations and suggestions for the different aspects of self-care

Workplace or professional Self-Care

This involves activities that help you to work consistently at the professional level expected of you. For example:

  • Engage in regular supervision or consulting with a more experienced colleague
  • Set up a peer-support group
  • Be strict with boundaries between clients/students and staff
  • Read professional journals
  • Attend professional development programs.

Physical Self-Care

Activities that help you to stay fit and healthy, and with enough energy to get through your work and personal commitments.

  • Develop a regular sleep routine.
  • Aim for a healthy diet.
  • Take lunch breaks.
  • Go for a walk at lunchtime.
  • Take your dog for a walk after work.
  • Use your sick leave.
  • Get some exercise before/after work regularly.

Psychological Self-Care

Activities that help you to feel clear-headed and able to intellectually engage with the professional challenges that are found in your work and personal life.

  • Keep a reflective journal.
  • Seek and engage in external supervision or regularly consult with a more experienced colleague.
  • Engage with a non-work hobby.
  • Turn off your email and work phone outside of work hours.
  • Make time for relaxation.
  • Make time to engage with positive friends and family.

Emotional Self-Care

Allowing yourself to safely experience your full range of emotions.

  • Develop friendships that are supportive.
  • Write three good things that you did each day.
  • Go to the movies or do something else you enjoy.
  • Talk to you friend about how you are coping with work and life demands.

Spiritual Self-Care

This involves having a sense of perspective beyond the day-to-day of life.

  • Engage in reflective practices like meditation.
  • Go to church/mosque/temple.
  • Do yoga.
  • Reflect with a close friend for support.
  • Download the 1 Giant Mind app and learn mindfulness.
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A Step Beyond featured in Voice of San Diego

A Step Beyond: Empowering Underserved Youth With Dance, Academic Support & Family Services

By Erin Coller

Escondido-based nonprofit A Step Beyond is taking a unique approach to help local children succeed in school and end the poverty cycle, by focusing on dance and teaching children starting in third grade how to express themselves creatively after school while also focusing on academics and family life.

A Step Beyond targets youth living in poverty in North County San Diego through a comprehensive dance, academics and family services program. The location was strategically selected based upon San Diego Workforce Partnership research showing a high poverty rate in the area, as well as a significant rate of youth between the ages of 16-24 who are not working and are not in school. Students begin their 10-year commitment with A Step Beyond beginning in third grade. A goal has been set by A Step Beyond for 100 percent of students to graduate from high school and finish college degrees, in comparison to what is likely to be a low percentage of their peer group who will achieve the same accomplishments.

In operation since 2014, A Step Beyond offers a unique creative youth development program model which has demonstrated success in other states and is the first of its kind in San Diego. The program combines creative arts, academic support and family services for each of the 40 students per year who enroll, with an annual concert and community performances giving the children an opportunity to showcase the skills they have mastered.

A Step Beyond relies on community support through volunteers and donations, and a key partner for the organization is San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E). The support from SDG&E focuses on the summer program which aims to help address issues of summer reading loss. Many students fall behind in reading and language skills during the summer and can begin to disengage when they return to school in the fall because they are below the level of their peers.

With SDG&E’s support through the Inspiring Future Leaders giving initiative, the summer program will focus on the nature of environmental challenges, related inquiry, and personal responsibility in this context, the participants (ages 9-12) introduce a cohort of low-income children to various strands of STEM learning.

According to A Step Beyond Artistic Director Jennifer Oliver, research findings show that through the pursuit of mastery in dance, students obtain the habits and skills necessary to achieve their future goals. Dancing provides the opportunity for children to be present in the moment and to navigate and make decisions based upon prediction of outcomes, skills that all translate to other areas of life and lead to success in school and beyond.

Oliver explained that the organization’s goal from the outset was to find the most effective way of targeting children to overcome the cycle of poverty, and the program was designed based on research showing that it is very important to target students at a young age, specifically at the third-grade level. Many children who disengage with school begin doing so in third grade starting with reading loss and leading to total disengagement with the system—a cycle that A Step Beyond is strategically working to stop.

The academic focus of A Step Beyond’s program includes tutoring for students with an open academic lab which they are required to attend for three years. After three years, the students can attend the academic lab by choice if they maintain a grade point average above 3.0, and are required to attend if it falls below that level. A Step Beyond also employs a full-time licensed clinical social worker who works with students and their families in counseling and small group sessions to help ensure a healthy and supportive setting at home which is crucial to success in school and in creative after-school activities.

Photo by Angela and Ithyle

Children who participate begin with an introductory week-long dance program taught in several local schools to all third-grade students, and those who are interested based on their experience can choose to audition. The team at A Step Beyond is then faced with the difficult task of selecting 40 students out of approximately 160 who audition.

“With the focus on dance, students are getting the after-school activity they desire—something fun and creative, with the opportunity to express their unique voice, to be celebrated, and to produce something that they have ownership over,” said Oliver. Students also benefit from the mentorship model and have expressed a desire to work alongside professionals in the field and produce professional-caliber results. Through this type of creative youth development program, we can change the trajectory of students’ lives and stop the cycle of poverty.”

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A Step Beyond 2018 Introduction Video

This is an introduction video provides a wonderful overview of the goals and aspirations A Step Beyond has for children and their families.

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2018 A Step Beyond Informational Video

This is an informational video for parents interested in having their child audition for our program. This will give you a quick overview of what A Step Beyond will be offering in the first year and over the course of their journey.

Este es un video informativo para padres interesados en hacer una audición de su hijo para nuestro programa. Esto le dará una visión general rápida de lo que ofrecerá A Step Beyond en el primer año y en el transcurso de su viaje.

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2018 A Step Beyond Auditions

Download 2018 A Step Beyond Auditions Flyer: English  |   Español

Saturday, October 6, 2018

It is time for our Annual Auditions!

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We are Hiring! – Academic Facilitator

A Step Beyond is hiring!  As we expand our academic support for our youth, we need a new staff member to think about high school and college and career readiness.  If you are interested in working with our team of dedicated creative youth development professionals, speak spanish and have experience supporting  youth in their academic pursuits, this might be the perfect fit for you!

APF Position

Linked-In posting

Send a cover letter and resume to hiring@a-step-beyond.org  ASAP! We are interviewing now!

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Creative Youth Development Video

Meet Briana, a 4th year student at A Step Beyond and hear about her journey in our Creative Youth Development program.

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ASB featured in Onside News North County

(Photo: Angela Kohler)

A Step Beyond and the California Center For The Arts Invites You to a Groundbreaking Event

Escondido CA— Join us on Friday, May 4th at 11:30 am on campus at California Center for the Arts, Escondido, to help us celebrate the official groundbreaking of the Dave Langlois Children’s Center, a multi-use office space serving the youth and families of A Step Beyond.

About A Step Beyond

A Step Beyond is an after school Creative Youth Development program helping underserved youth break the cycle of poverty through offering dance training, academic support, and family services to over 140 students from Escondido and San Marcos.

A Step Beyond opened its doors to its first cohort in 2014 and continues to welcome a new class of 3rd and 4th graders each fall while continuing to train and educate our older students.  A Step Beyond will reach its full capacity in Fall of 2022 when it plans to be serving 350 students in grades 3 through 12.  The ultimate goal of A Step Beyond is to empower underserved youth to transform their lives, families, and communities and to prepare them for college and career.

The new Dave Langlois Children’s Center will house A Step Beyond’s administrative offices, family counseling center, and student and parent learning centers. It is named for Dave Langlois, a homebuilder and philanthropist with a heart for underserved youth, and is underwritten by a generous matching grant from the Fieldstone Foundation.  Pardee Homes, the builder captain, is managing the entire construction.

A Step Beyond is located at California Center for the Arts, 340 N. Escondido Blvd. in Escondido. A Step Beyond’s Office can be reached at (760) 670-3250.  To learn more, including performance dates for our upcoming student concert, and further information, visit a-step-beyond.org.

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