Saturday Academy recently worked with the wonderful Women in Engineering group at Lam Research while being tasked to sort LEGO® kits for our classes and camps at Saturday Academy. You may ask…What does LEGO® sorting entail? Saturday Academy offers a variety of classes using LEGO®s to explore subjects like engineering, robotics, and physics to challenge thoughts and enhance creativity! But anyone who has experience with LEGO®s knows that they can get incredibly disorganized... That’s where Lam Research employees came in and saved the day!
My name is Maddox Zhang and I’m the Saturday Academy (SA) winter “extern.” I’m spending two weeks learning about the inner workings of SA and supporting staff members on projects. Originally from Connecticut, I’m a sophomore biochemistry major at Reed College with a deep ardor for social justice. In my free time, I love watching nature documentaries and getting out to explore Portland’s lively and ever-changing food, art and fashion scenes.
As a former engineer, I have been volunteering at the Saturday Academy office for a year. Most of what I do is help the busy staff members accomplish their goals, especially on computer work, which gives me a great feeling of accomplishment. Occasionally I help out in the community at schools, open houses and conferences, which is perfect because I get to see why we are here and find out about the remarkable students we are helping to educate.
Hello! My name is Qian and I am a proud volunteer at Saturday Academy. I am a part time student at Portland Community College and have been working a few nanny jobs this summer. I am currently taking a Criminal Justice elective course, however my interests range from social work to astronomy and everything in between. I’m not entirely set on a career path so it’s great to take opportunities to volunteer in the community so I can not only give back but discover new potential interests.
Hi, my name is Rita and I am both an alumna of and a volunteer at Saturday Academy. I am a recent college graduate from Duke University with a BS in chemistry and a minor in psychology. I just returned to my hometown of Portland to focus on my medical school applications and work part-time as a medical scribe in a pediatric clinic. I spend my days off volunteering at Saturday Academy or brushing up on my science knowledge for the MCAT. As soon as Mt. Hood opens up for ski season, you will find me spending my weekends there!
I work for Portland Public Schools and in the summers I usually have Fridays free, so I decided this year to volunteer some of my time to work with the Saturday Academy. I am familiar with the organization because my daughter had taken a few classes in the past (Street Photography, as part of the arts curriculum at SA, and a computer coding class) and really enjoyed them; the
“Would you like to scoop out some crawfish?” Probably not what you would expect to hear during a volunteer activity, but then again, here at Saturday Academy we pride ourselves on being hands-on and in-depth! This spring we partnered with PIVOT JobCorps to host a Spring Garage Clean Out Day where we managed science supplies, organized class kits and yes, even scooped biological materials out of tubs. We have buckets of specimen for an array of classes and camps we offer.
As the Outreach & Volunteer Coordinator for Saturday Academy, I am tasked with cultivating partnerships and creating community relationships. When I started my position seven months ago, I’ll be honest, I wasn’t quite sure what those partnerships would look like and how they would function. But that’s the beauty Saturday Academy and our community engagement-not one partnership looks like the other. Each relationship built with another organization has its own unique give and take.
Flashback to three months ago, before I began considering the ways in which I could engage myself philanthropically, my day-to-day seemed… okay. Just, okay. Pretty blah, if I’m being honest. But my life was hardly lacking in scheduled commitments. Some days felt insurmountable, and my reward for scaling to the top didn’t leave me feeling purposeful. Cue thoughts of, “Hmm… How can my life feel more purposeful? How can I get in touch with my beliefs and values while nurturing a sense of civic engagement?