Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Ode to Site Supervisors

The following was shared with the BOOST Conference attendees by a dear colleague, Diego Arancibia. It was also posted in the BOOST Breakfast Club Blog. With Diego's permission, we reposted it here in order that it could be shared even further. Diego's bio can be found below - Sam Piha
Ode to Site Supervisors
By Diego Arancibia
Diego Arancibia
I began to reflect on my career and realized that
my days as a site coordinator have been the most defining and empowering.
I dare say that this experience,
as a site coordinator,
prepared me for the biggest challenges of not only my career…
but my life.
So, I have written this ode,
in honor of the site coordinator...
The one who is a part time employee with a full time attitude.
The one who has survived the bullets of lock downs
and who also rose to the occasion
to help supervise 1400 students
in the midst of a teacher walk out.
The one who has had to call 911 because of broken bones...
and at the same time worried that the family didn't have insurance.
The site coordinator who realized they are,
in essence,
the bridge between
the school and
When they heard a father say
"I got the message from the school but if i left work,
I wouldn't get paid and
my family won't eat... tu sabes?"
The one who spent a sleepless night in the emergency room because of one their students laid in one of those rooms.
The one who a can name every kid in their program....
Along with their nickname.
The one who made the call to child protective services…
and even with promise of "confidentiality"....
everyone knew it was you…
even the parent.
But you still don't regret making the call,
because you took a stand for those that couldn't.
To the one who has heard of their former student being shot
or killed in a car accident.
The one who also tears up when they hear one of their students just graduated.
To the one who heard their former student,
who didn't have papers,
didn't have a dad,
and didn't do time
still joined the marines to serve "his" country
and was shipped to Iraq.
To the one who made magic happen with 200 students, $20 bucks, and a 99cent store.
The one who gave their last $10 bucks to a student
so they could go on that field trip.
The one who has survived countless site visits... and yet still has to justify the work they do.
The one that has brought in thousands of dollars if not millions because of the program they run.
Only to become the scape-goat of disconnected administrators.
The site coordinator who knows the utter excitement of finding "that staff member" who has "it"
and the shot to the gut
when you had to fire,
let go,
reassign, or
whatever term you want to use
to let a staff member know they lost their "juice".
To the site coordinator who has dealt with the stress
of trying to accomplish
in 3 hours
what others
have trouble in 8.
The site coordinator who has mopped floors, cleaned bathrooms
and was still yelled at for moving a chair in a classroom.
To the one who initially was not
from of the community
but in time
earned the trust and respect
and became part of that community.
To the site coordinator who has failed.
but failed forward
and had humility and courage
to stand up...
and triumph.
The one who goes by that saying of Admiral Grace Hopper
If it's a good idea, go ahead and do it. It is much easier to apologize than it is to get permission.
To the site coordinator who created a 3rd place... not really home, not really school...
but really like home and really like school.
To the site coordinator who has seen their front line staff be transformed.
To the site coordinators,
who in reality
are the backbone of
any program
any organization
and of this movement.
To you
I say…
Thank you.
Diego Arancibia has worked in the field of After-School for over 15 years.  His experience ranges from working with elementary, middle school and high school students at the various programmatic and administrative levels.   His innovative methods in marketing and programming has produced some of the most successful programs in the nation. Also, he has traveled across the nation training youth program advocates in consensus building, action planning, programming.  Currently, Diego is the Coordinator with ASAPconnect and lives in the Bay Area with his beautiful wife and his amazing son and daughter.

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