Business and Education

February 18, 2020

Meet our newest LEAP staff members!

A key element of LEAP’s success is our ability to recruit talented team members with a variety of experience, skills, and expertise. We are pleased to introduce our newest team members, Hilary Kopp, Vicki Tzortzis, and Eli Santana. [divider] Vasiliki “Vicki” Tzortzis, Teen Center Coordinator [custom_frame_right][/custom_frame_right] Vicki oversees all of the programs, staff, and volunteers at the Teen Center. Vicki has a bachelor’s in Expressive Arts Therapies with specializations in Holistic Psychology and Dance/Movement Therapy. She has over three years of experience as an academic tutor in
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Great Expectations 2013 – Address from Linda Saris

On June 11,2013, Salem CyberSpace held its second Great Expectations event at the Kernwood Country Club.  260 students, parents, supporters and community members came to celebrate the graduation of 14 high school students and 10 college graduates. Here is the speech that its Director, Linda Saris, delivered that night: Today is a very special day for all of you.  The graduates you will see today are among the first students to participate in the academic youth programs which started in 2003, 10 years ago when these
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Value of Social Capital for low-income, ESL Youth

This was a speech given by Linda Saris, Director of Salem CyberSpace at its Great Expectations Fundraiser June 5, 2012 In a book entitled Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard Chip Heath a professor from Stanford and his brother Dan Heath, a researcher and consultant at Duke, ask why it is so hard to making lasting change in our companies, our communities and our lives.  I was fortunate to hear Dr. Heath speak at Stanford and one of his stories really hit home
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August 20, 2011

Career-Education Linkages – Part 3

In Part 2 of Career-Education Linkages, I discussed the need for high schools and colleges to teach performance skills in addition to academic core subjects. Across all the growth sectors in our regional economy, the jobs will require more than technical or academic knowledge.  This jobs will require performance skills such as communication and critical thinking and, finally soft skills such as customer service and work ethic. An Intel executive asks one of his managers how his new intern is working out.  Well, the guy says,
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Career-Education Linkages, Part 2

Sorry, it has taken me so long to get Part 2 up on the blog.  Running a non-profit program is not easy these days. With a constant hunt for money, planning for growth, assuring quality of programs, recruiting students, staff and volunteers, I don’t seem to have as much time to keep the blog up to date but I promise to try harder. In Part I of  Career-Education linkages, I talked about the forgotten fifty – the 50% of our kids that do not go on
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Career-Education Linkages Part 1

I am starting a 3-part blog on linking education with a clear career path. Why?  A large percentage of our students are disengaged from learning.  Nationwide 50% of our kids do not go on to any post-secondary education (38% here in Essex County, MA), there is a growing gender gap showing boys significantly lagging in education, and an alarming percentage of remediation in community colleges and high public college drop out rates. Teen employment is at its all time low.  While the current recession has definitely
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January 27, 2010

Connecting Career To High School Achievement

High school reformists incorporate the 3 R’s for student success: rigor, relevance, and relationships. Students need to be challenged academically, to understand how that challenge relates to life in the “real world,” and to know that adults in the system care about them and are invested in their success (what I have called in previous blogs, social capital).  Most urban high schools offer a range of rigor in course selections including honors and AP level courses.  However too many students lose the connectedness between their learning
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December 9, 2009

Can Small Business Be the Missing Link to Education Success?

In the city of Chicago, for every 100 children entering high school, only 6 will finish college. In Boston, 2/3 of all students who go on to college have not graduated after 7 years. And, while I could not find similar statistics for my smaller urban city, Salem,  we can extrapolate from statewide averages and from the data that is available on drop out rates and high school graduation plans,  to estimate that 30 students out of the original 100 will finish college. When you look
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