Hello, ELEVATE supporters. I’m Allie Tessitore, and I am a rising senior at Bishop Moore High School. This summer I am a Social Media intern at ELEVATE Orlando.
From what I have seen so far, this organization, along with all the people who make it possible, is truly amazing. I have never felt more at home with a group of people before, and it is evident that everyone cares so much for the students they are helping. It is refreshing to continuously be in an environment where the well-being of others (the ELEVATE students) always takes precedence. Also, the group of middle school students ELEVATE is helping this summer is such a smart, nice, and unique bunch of kids.
ELEVATE has a summer camp program for forty middle school students feeding from three middle schools in Orange County. The program is run by our wonderful staff as well as six junior mentors, who are high school students with fantastic leadership skills. This program is referred to as the Summer Blast. Each week there are many fun and educational activities all over Orlando for the kids to enjoy.
The first week of Summer Blast kicked off with the campers going to New Smyrna Beach for a beach day! They lounged in the sun and tackled the waves. It was some of the children’s first time at the beach, even though they have been living right next to it their whole lives. So, this was a good experience for them and showed the students how amazing their home state is. The next day, the camp went to UCF to participate in a scavenger hunt all across campus. Of course this activity was fun and had the children laughing and competing against each other, but it also showed them the importance of respect and communication, especially when working in groups. In addition, the children were introduced to a college campus and learned that college and the prospect of going to college is real and there is in fact one right here in Orlando. On Friday, the students got to see even more of their beautiful home state of Florida by visiting Wekiva Springs and canoeing down the Wekiva River, thanks to the Nelsen family who allowed the campers to use their house and backyard, which is on the Wekiva River. Your hospitality and generosity, Nelsen Family, was greatly appreciated!
This is only the beginning of what the campers are going to experience and learn this summer. There are so many more fun events that our staff has planned. So, stay tuned and check in with me every Tuesday morning to get the full scoop on the happenings of ELEVATE and how we truly are changing lives.