More than 50 students participated in the CHOSEN Community Development Corporation Leadership Academy’s annual summer mentoring and STEAM camp for middle and high school students this week in Havre de Grace.
The academy is led by college students from various colleges in Maryland and high school staff from several schools. Each of the 55 students from around the region participating in the event are assigned a mentor from their intended career fields.
“It is a great opportunity to give back to the community,” said Kenneth Sumpter, who is a recent graduate of Havre de Grace High School and vice president of the leadership academy. “It is a great way for kids to get the opportunity to see what various career fields there are. I would have loved that opportunity.”
The two-day STEAM Camp was held at Swan Harbor Farm in Havre de Grace. STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, art and math. The academy ended Friday with a trip to the Maryland Museum of Science sponsored by Constellation Energy and the Baltimore Ravens.
Speakers include CHOSEN founder James C. Williams; Derek Dewitt, director of the Boys and Girls Club of Harford and Cecil Counties; cyber analyst Vigla Goya; and electronic warfare mentor Shantel Moore.
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“I think it is super important to understand how the world is moving,” said Goya. “Data science and machine learning are the second most widely available job field in the country now. It is important to know the skills and the cases [in which] it is used.”
On Thursday, Judge Kevin Mahoney of the Circuit Court of Harford County discussed challenges and issues students are facing, including voting, school shootings, inflation, bullying, drugs and mental health issues. Students conducted a minute debate on how things are going in Harford County on these issues.
“I have got a lot of teamwork from the camp,” said Myles Britt, a camper and 10th grader from the John Carroll School. “We really came together and made a good experience for everyone.”