Every year our Apprenticeships in Science and Engineering (ASE) Program turns out a cohort of new STEAM professionals. We first meet these students during the application process, we get attached to them at Orientation and Midsummer Conference, and we are wowed by them when they present at Symposium. Before we know it the summer is over, we’ve sent out our last intern communications, and we are starting the cycle over again with a new set of students. But what happens as they transition from ASE interns to ASE alums?
Historically, our main point of contact with ASE alums has been through email and LinkedIn, with the exception of those who become ASE mentors or teacher monitors later in life or volunteer for ASE events. But this year we changed things up a bit. We know how amazing our alums are, and we want them to have more opportunities to get to know each other and to stay involved with ASE.
So on July 21st, thanks to our generous sponsor and host Zapproved, we threw our first annual ASE Alum Summer Mixer. We invited ASE alums as well as current and former mentors, and over 30 people came, with alums from as far back as 2008 and as recent as 2021. We chatted about life post-ASE, played games, and thoroughly enjoyed Zapproved’s beautiful rooftop patios. When the time came for us to leave, it was difficult to say goodbye!
Some photo highlights:
We made a playlist featuring Billboard hits, and as Allison played each song, alums had to guess whether it was from their ASE year. It’s harder than you might think!
Alum Elizabeth Dimitrova (ASE 2020) met her mentor Dr. Charlie Meshel for the first time in person, after working with him remotely through our first summer of COVID.
Mentor Toria Ellis (center) of the Reed Nuclear Reactor came with their 2019 interns Medoka Blandy (right) and Solis McClain (left). Solis has returned to work at the Reactor as a Reed undergraduate!
This event was a success, but it is only the beginning of building our alum network. We have been coordinating internships since 1990, yet our oldest alums in attendance were from 2008. Our biggest barrier is that we have lost contact with many of the interns from earlier years. This is inevitable as people change their contact information, some several times over, after their high school days.
This is where you, our Saturday Academy Community, can help. If you are an ASE Alum and want to stay informed about Alum events and opportunities, please fill out this survey! If you know any ASE Alums, please send them the link! We are excited to reconnect with everyone, and we would love for alums to help guide the growth of our alum program. Your participation in ASE, and the benefits it provides, do not have to end when your internship ends.
We are also excited to announce that we are starting a quarterly Alum Newsletter with updates about ASE, upcoming events, and other ways to get involved with Saturday Academy. If you would like to sign up to receive this newsletter, please click here.
Can’t wait to meet more people at the next event!