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“How are your students doing?” is a common question from curious FabNewport friends.

One of the great joys of working with youth is hearing about how they are making their way as adults. While there can be no doubt that we need to do a better process of maintaining the relationships with those who have moved on from high school to college and beyond, there are many former PVD Young Makers who are doing well.

Our goal is to put in place the processes so that the young people feel like they are part of the Fab Family as they move into adulthood

If you have a story you'd like to share with us about a FabNewport/PVD Young Maker alumni, please email us at fabnewport@gmail.com

-Steve Heath

Creation, Collaboration & Connection

Duke

Sophomore

Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA

Duke with his Lens Cap Prototype he 3D Printed

“The connections are just as important as the work you’re doing.” 

Duke, 19, a sophomore at Drexel University in Philadelphia, spent his high school years as a Maker in programs with us at Providence Young Makers. A graduate of Classical High School in Providence, Duke attributes his success in creation, collaboration, and connection to the time he spent working with and for PVDYM. 

What would you tell a 13, or 15 year old coming into PVDYM or FabNewport about what they’re going to learn here?

“Definitely collaboration and communication skills, but beyond that you’re going to learn a lot about design. Taking an idea and making it something tangible, something real… getting stronger in the creative process, design and creation, learning about all the tools that you guys have provided, and collaborating with people, learning to be better at communicating with people. I think all of that are the big core skills that someone would take away from PVDYM or FabNewport.”  -Duke, PVDYM graduate, Sophomore at Drexel University 

“The connections are just as important as the work you’re doing… the connections I’ve made there I couldn’t have made without the skills that I’ve fostered during my time at PVDYM-that was huge ”

“You are giving people access to all the tools, and giving them opportunities to explore-and that’s huge. I would say if you wanted to identify as a design program, that’s how I always saw it. But it is so much more.”

“You know I think it’s really cool that you guys are keeping track of everybody that’s gone through the program because it is really cool to see where everyone ends up. The talent matters, but connections are the most important.”

Debbie

Freshman

College of the Holy Cross

“PVDYM inspired me to take the class and when I did take it we had a section on moral development of students. I found myself able to talk about it because of the students I worked with in PVDYM, and give examples in class.”

Debbie, a rising sophomore at Holy Cross, stopped by Providence Public Library to update us on life in college. Debbie was also able to count her time with PVDYM as field hours towards her teaching program – 3 years worth.

When you were heading off to college, if I have it correct in my memory, you were thinking about neuroscience and international relations… is that still what your Positive Future Vision is?

“I took a pause on international relations for a couple of reasons.  The first being, for neuroscience you have to take 14 classes, for international relations you have to take 14. I just couldn’t figure out how to do both of them, as they don’t overlap. And I figured yeah that might be a lot. And secondly, I took an education course last semester, and I just loved education. I was able to go and teach students. The class was my favorite class to go to, every Tuesday and Thursday I wanted to go to class… I never missed a class in education, I always turned in assignments early, and I went to office hours every time. It was very easy to talk to that professor, she was one of the kindest professors I’d ever met, and the course was something I was very eager to learn about. So I thought, I think education is the route to go and I took another one-that still felt the same-with a different professor. I found myself still in the same environment that I felt while taking the first one. So I ended up going into the teaching, education program and I hope to get

I could have done an education minor, but no, I think I want to get my license. I know it’s going to get harder but right now it seems really enjoyable… International studies at Holy Cross feels like a track to law school and that’s not me. I took a pause on that, though I’m still involved in student government.”

Do you think your work with Providence Young Makers has influenced any of the things you're doing in college? 

“Oh definitely. I wouldn’t have taken education classes if I didn’t work with Providence Young Makers. At first, I was looking at sports classes. Looking for a class to fill then I saw an education class and knew I’d already worked with kids before… PVDYM inspired me to take the class and when I did take it we had a section on moral development of students. I found myself able to talk about it because of the students I worked with in PVDYM, and give examples in class.”  

Debbie was even able to count her time with PVDYM as field hours towards her teaching program. 3 years worth of hours. 

Going back to this moral development topic you were discussing in class, as you're working with middle and high schoolers age kids, what was your perspective on moral development? From what you were reading and based on your experience both working with kids and being an adolescent… What kind of thoughts were coming out? 

“We had to read a case study, and then dissect the study, and try to give feedback. So for me when I dissected the case studies, I was able to give feedback by drawing examples from past students. So for me, one example was like what do you do with challenged educational behavior… So with the students who are quote on quote less well behaved, when you give them something they are passionate about they are more likely to sit down, and do the work. But of course it takes time, when it comes to classical conditioning it of course takes time for people to immerse in what they’re doing.”

“I was able to tell my professors that the students who aren’t “well behaved” are students we’re not giving something they’re passionate about, or even something they thoroughly understand. Because sometimes teachers teach for the students who understand it right the first time. Some students just need either a different approach to learning, or something that they’re passionate about.” 

When you were heading off to college, if I have it correct in my memory, you were thinking about neuroscience and international relations… is that still what your Positive Future Vision is?

“I took a pause on international relations for a couple of reasons.  The first being, for neuroscience you have to take 14 classes, for international relations you have to take 14. I just couldn’t figure out how to do both of them, as they don’t overlap. And I figured yeah that might be a lot. And secondly, I took an education course last semester, and I just loved education. I was able to go and teach students. The class was my favorite class to go to, every Tuesday and Thursday I wanted to go to class… I never missed a class in education, I always turned in assignments early, and I went to office hours every time. It was very easy to talk to that professor, she was one of the kindest professors I’d ever met, and the course was something I was very eager to learn about. So I thought, I think education is the route to go and I took another one-that still felt the same-with a different professor. I found myself still in the same environment that I felt while taking the first one. So I ended up going into the teaching, education program and I hope to get

I could have done an education minor, but no, I think I want to get my license. I know it’s going to get harder but right now it seems really enjoyable… International studies at Holy Cross feels like a track to law school and that’s not me. I took a pause on that, though I’m still involved in student government.”

Do you think your work with Providence Young Makers has influenced any of the things you're doing in college? 

“Oh definitely. I wouldn’t have taken education classes if I didn’t work with Providence Young Makers. At first, I was looking at sports classes. Looking for a class to fill then I saw an education class and knew I’d already worked with kids before… PVDYM inspired me to take the class and when I did take it we had a section on moral development of students. I found myself able to talk about it because of the students I worked with in PVDYM, and give examples in class.”  

Going back to this moral development topic you were discussing in class, as you're working with middle and high schoolers age kids, what was your perspective on moral development? From what you were reading and based on your experience both working with kids and being an adolescent… What kind of thoughts were coming out? 

“We had to read a case study, and then dissect the study, and try to give feedback. So for me when I dissected the case studies, I was able to give feedback by drawing examples from past students. So for me, one example was like what do you do with challenged educational behavior… So with the students who are quote on quote less well behaved, when you give them something they are passionate about they are more likely to sit down, and do the work. But of course it takes time, when it comes to classical conditioning it of course takes time for people to immerse in what they’re doing.”

Do you feel like your experience with Providence Young Makers has put you further ahead in talking about education? 

“When it came to middle school age, I was big on participation. Because I was able to talk about the behavior I saw, educational development and moral development. I was able to talk about that just because of my PVDYM experiences. So yes.”

Cool. What are you doing this summer?

“This is very different from what I just talked about, but back in the school year I worked with a tech company that deploys Google services to other small businesses. So I’m working with them now part time, two times a week I go to Westborough. And that’s just it, that’s all I’m doing right now. But, starting July 24th I am heading back to campus to be the chemistry TA.”

Debbie pictured here at the Providence Public Library's PVD YM Fab Lab and Studio, with Theo, Richard and FabNewport Board Member Allison Ingalsbe

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