In September 2013 Roberto Clemente Community Academy began the process for an International Baccalaureate Program (IB) designation. One of the requirements for IB is to engage students in community through Service Learning Hours, which is also a part of the vision of Community as a Campus. The Puerto Rican Cultural Center (PRCC) – Vida/ SIDA program was selected as one of the participating programs for youth volunteer opportunities.
Subsequently, Vida/ SIDA’s Manager of Linkage to Care & Treatment, Ricardo Jimenez and former Manager of Comprehensive Risk Counseling Services (CRCS), Alex Frye worked with thirty of Clemente H.S.’ freshman year students. They taught them about HIV and Sexual Transmitted Infections (STI), toured Vida/SIDA and the services available on sexual health. Afterwards the students incorporated what they learned by producing a one-minute bilingual (Spanish and English) educational video for their peers.
On May 13, 2014, the students were also immersed in the history of Paseo Boricua and the Puerto Rican community through a tour of the PRCC and Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos High School by Ricardo and of the community by, Division Street Business Development Association (DSBDA) Executive Director Eduardo Arocho. After the tours, they went to the PRCC’s youth space Café Teatro Batey Urbano for a reflection of their experiences, to pack condoms for outreach workers, and discussed the upcoming 2nd United Puerto Rican People’s Parade, which is partly dedicated to Clemente H.S.40th Anniversary. This was done in order for our community youth to have a richer understanding of the history, successes, and the legacy of their school and Humboldt Park; and to strengthen the relationships between our diverse youth-centered resources.