Mini-Grants to Support Local Alumni Engagement
In September 2020, The Clubhouse Network launched our first-ever Alumni Chapter Mini-grant cycle. Eight Clubhouses received a mini-grant to either start or amplify existing alumni chapters. Alumni met to celebrate the holidays together, reconnect through virtual and in-person gatherings, start new projects focused on leadership in the community, and so much more. We are excited to share some events and initiatives from Alumni Chapters.
Sharing Best Practices Between Chapters
Best practices from the Alumni Chapters were featured at The Clubhouse Network’s Annual Conference, held virtually this past April. At our Alumni Chapter development roundtable, Clubhouse staff learned from other Clubhouse Coordinators who engage alumni through in-person and virtual activities. They shared tips for engaging alumni through a continuation of the Clubhouse’s learning model and enhanced leadership development.
Watch the recording below:
The Best Buy Teen Tech Center @ Gold Crown Foundation in Lakewood, Colorado, USA Hosts a Friendsgiving
Brittany David, Alum and Clubhouse Coordinator at The Best Buy Teen Tech Center @ Gold Crown Foundation, hosted a Friendsgiving gathering in November. She says “This was an opportunity to let alumni know more about what we were doing and what the Alumni Chapter was all about. We came together and had a thanksgiving feast. We had 10 Alumni Attend this event.” This Alumni Chapter also hosted more dinners, a camping trip, Botanic Gardens tour and built more connections with current members. Brittany shared, “We are slowly working on ways to bring alumni back into the Clubhouse for maker events or as mentors. We believe this will help our group of mentors become more representative of the population we currently serve.”
The Clubhouse @ Puerta 18 in Buenos Aires, Argentina Alumni Focus on Gender Issues
The Clubhouse @ Puerta 18 partnered with The Foundation Encontrarse en la Diversidad to engage alumni in discussions about gender issues. They sent alumni a survey to help inform future projects. They asked if alumni “suffered discrimination and of what kind, their opinion according to gender issues, the approach to sex education in areas outside school, machismo and even how much an audiovisual piece can affect their opinion, among other things.”
Alumni of The Clubhouse-Colsubsidio in Bogotá, Colombia Create Workshops for Their Peers
Alumni at this Clubhouse were involved in drafting the Alumni Chapter Mini-grant application and created the budget. They decided to lead several workshops for their Clubhouse Community. See their Photography with Mirrors activity in the video below. Their Clubhouse Coordinator Jessica Lopez shared, “In the last meeting of the chapter, the alumni proposed to continue doing activities to build community in a virtual way. They will lead film forums every two months. We will also hold ‘Clubhouse Friendship Week,’ one week of five days of games to encourage members to get to know each other and share their skills with other members.”
The Sci-Bono Clubhouse in Johannesburg, South Africa Explored Growing Career Fields in Drone Piloting
Alumni at The Sci-Bono Clubhouse met to discuss what content the Chapter would like to explore this year. Chapter members decided to pursue drone training to help introduce them to a new career field. Some “alumni managed to continue with the full course and got their RPL Licenses so they can officially get hired to fly drones in professional environments” says Clubhouse Coordinator Vuyani Magibisela. They also created a WhatsApp group to continue to share resources and host meetings.
Foróige Clubhouse in Dublin, Ireland Alumni Focus on Leadership Development
Siobhan Hennessy, Clubhouse Coordinator, mentors young alumni leaders as they help her plan events and workshops and advocate for Clubhouse members’ needs through their youth council. Mary Vrinceanu, Clubhouse Alum says “Siobhan has provided a space where the alumni can come together on a regular basis and she encourages us to take the lead in planning events. In turn, we assist Siobhan with day-to-day activities in the Clubhouse. The Clubhouse is a very special place to us as it allowed us to form a very special friendship which has pushed us to remain very good friends outside of the Clubhouse.” Alumni continue to follow their interests and learn leadership skills along the way. Siobhan shared, “The Alumni helped out over six weeks of the summer programme and have been involved in the Inclusion Week, Techspace Week, and Community Week, encouraging teens to learn new skills, discuss issues around racism in the community, inclusion, and equality, and make a difference in their community through litter picks and upcycling at various community centers in Dublin.” The focus on developing leadership skills through the alumni chapter led to an alum being offered a staff position at the Forioge Clubhouse!
The Alumni Chapter at The EXPO Center Clubhouse in Los Angeles, CA, USA Plan Alumni Outreach and Communications
Nereida Sarabia, Clubhouse Coordinator at The EXPO Center Clubhouse, hosted several alumni chapter meetings. She says the first “teleconference meeting included the following topics: Introduction to the Program, International Clubhouse Alumni Network Registration, Expectations, Topics for Discussion, and a Questionnaire. The questionnaire helped to assess the members’ current academic experience, employment status, achievements, and to identify the skills learned from attending previous Clubhouse programs. EXPO Center will use this information to create alumni newsletters and profiles.” In addition, the chapter focused on teambuilding, social media alumni recruitment, and college financial aid. The Chapter also collaborated with the Best Buy Teen Tech Center @ Gold Crown’s Alumni Chapter for a focus group to demonstrate Clubhouse impact and help improve programming for new members.
Grand Street Settlement in New York, NY, USA Alumni Chapter Focuses on Chapter Goals, Issues Affecting College Student Alumni and Financial Literacy
Clubhouse Coordinator Gabriel Fulcar describes the Chapter’s events and focus. “The meetings were to explain what being a Clubhouse alumni means, to assess where alumni interests lay, and to help plan out dates for future meetings/workshops. As our alumni are all college students, the meetings were able to help provide guidance and a sounding board for their current preoccupations.” This year they hosted workshops on resume building, a participatory design session with Gensler architects and designers, a STEM Career Panel, and a ‘Clubhouse Skills for the Real World’ workshop. Alumni received incentives like gift cards to restaurants, headphones, and other support.
The Alumni Chapter at The Best Buy Teen Tech Center @ HOPE Community in Minneapolis, MN, USA Hosts Personal and Professional Development Workshops
J.T. Evans, Best Buy Teen Tech Center Coordinator, describes what their alumni chapter has been working on. “Members choose to do these workshops based on what their needs were and they as a group decide on this path. So far they have participated in 10 or more workshops. Communications for events and in general have been via phone, texting, facetime, and Zoom. Due to COVID impact, all engagement has been virtual.” In addition to workshops, The Best Buy Teen Tech Center offered alumni appointments to visit the Center to utilize resources and work on personal projects.