Curated by Niña Abonal, Senior Program Coordinator
From staff members traveling to conduct CDB Scholarship interviews, Yunasa camps teeming with energetic campers, Academy classes bustling with curious learners, and EXPLORE students externing at sites all over Los Angeles, summertime at IEA is nothing short of eventful. Not only are all our programs in full swing, but we also host our annual Summer Spotlight to bring families together and celebrate the work of our amazing, gifted students.
In between all the hustle and bustle of programs and events, there are magical moments that make all the preparation and hard work worthwhile. One thing holds true about the staff members at IEA is that we genuinely enjoy the work we do and are passionate about the students and families we work with! Below are some favorite moments from this summer from the eyes of our dynamic IEA staff members.
“This year’s EXPLORE cohort exemplified the magic that can happen when passionate, gifted learners find their tribe—they can be their true selves and flourish. The culmination of EXPLORE, and frankly any IEA program, is filled with happy celebration of the students’ accomplishments, but also bittersweet goodbyes from amazing students. With each culminating cohort, I come to realize that even though these students will go their separate paths, they will forever be connected to one another through this unique, shared experience. This year’s closing circle activity, served as a symbol of the various connections students made this summer—with their mentors, IEA staff, and peers. Even though they are now alumni, they will always be part of the IEA family and, no matter where they go in life, IEA will never let go of them until they decide to let go of us.” – Niña, Program Coordinator
“I had many favorite moments this summer, getting to know and experience all of IEA’s programs. But a highlight was witnessing the teams of campers at Yunasa build sand sculptures that epitomize an emotion. This picture captures the word “acceptance” as two hands are reaching toward one another, with a heart nearby showing that love is part of acceptance. Simple, but brilliant. The campers were truly amazing.” – Abby, Director of Development and Communications
“At this year’s Summer Spotlight, Academy teacher Grayson Kent brought a komodo dragon to share with families in our community. It was so sweet to watch families interacting with this amazing animal and learning about him together.” – Morgan, Assistant to the President
“This photo is of 2015 CDB Scholar Amy Cavet and her alpaca friend that was taken on a family summer vacation to England where her parents are from. I love the juxtaposition of the two smiling faces and the obvious JOY of a summer spent with family and travel. The photo is special to me because it came unsolicited from Amy and shows the connectivity of this community with me year round.” – Bonnie, CDB Scholarship Manager
“I love this photo from our Summer Spotlight event because I think it displays the spirit of IEA’s community. A CDB Scholar is showing a young Academy student how to drive a robot he built. It’s always inspiring to see older students helping younger kids explore their curiosity.” – Nicole, Marketing and Communications Coordinator
“When I think of Yunasa, my heart is filled with joy. Both camps went beautifully – returning campers demonstrated leadership in welcoming new campers to the tribe, and new campers opened their heart to embrace new ideas and activities. There are many highlights at both camps; one that came to mind is the BBQ and campfire at the beach in Michigan. That evening, campers had a cookout near the waterfront, afterwards, some gathered to play cards, others sat together to make crafts or draw, some played music, and the more active ones played a game of ultimate Frisbee. Some campers were so looking forward to play in the water, so they had a swimming match. The night concluded with camp songs, skits, games and roasted s’mores over camp fire. It was a lovely summer night!”– Qiao, Program Coordinator
“My favorite moment was seeing old friends and meeting new people at our Summer Spotlight. Being behind the scenes in admin doesn’t afford me the opportunity to hang out with our community often, so it’s always rewarding to spend time with people in involved in our programs.” – Zadra, Director of Operations
To view more memorable moments from each program, visit IEA’s Facebook page to view more photos from all our summer programs!
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