By Alyssa Boge, Education Coordinator
Before you turn in your papers, do you always go over them to check for mistakes? If it’s a must, Collections, Compliance, or Archaeology work might be right for you!
This was one of the questions (and one of the answers) on a quiz that Randean Osceola helped create for the UNITY (United National Indian Tribal Youth) conference in Orlando. The goal was to get tribal students attending the conference to think about possible careers with tribal museums or Tribal Historic Preservation Offices (THPOs)—something Randean is very familiar with. She has been volunteering or interning with us for several years now and has worked in various divisions and sections of the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum and THPO. It’s been exciting to see her grow both personally and professionally from then to now. This summer she gave a talk about Native American Women to teachers at Piper High School in Sunrise, FL, helped edit text about the Tribe’s history for the Seminole Tribe of Florida website, worked on archaeological reports, and helped design a product for the store.
Luckily for us, Randean isn’t the only student who returned to work with us this summer! Students joined us either by volunteering or through a program called the Student Work Experience Program, or SWEP. SWEP is administered through the Tribe’s Center for Student Success and Services and facilitates work opportunities during spring break and summer. The goal is to help students gain professional development experience.
Some students who joined us last summer returned for both the spring and summer program this year like Chandler DeMayo. One of his big projects this summer was to work on a coloring page that we will use in our next activity booklet. Print it off, color it in, and send us a pic!
Other students who came this spring, like Aujua Williams and Avery Bowers, also joined us for the summer. In the picture below, they are looking at a yearbook in the Curatorial Lab. This summer, they both helped out with our summer camp groups and worked on our teaching collection, among many other things. For example, Avery worked with the Archaeometry section, too.
Some students who had joined us for SWEP last year or this spring came back to volunteer like Clarice DeMayo, Jalycia Billie-Valdez, and Andrew Bowers. They were able to help with Collections – organizing and housing photos from the Seminole Tribune, inventorying the collection, helping with cataloging objects, and creating mounts for objects to be used on exhibit. We are always excited when Jalycia helps out—she has such neat handwriting which is perfect for the task at hand!
This year we had a total of seven students join us to volunteer or intern through SWEP! The last two summers we’ve seen an increase in the number of participants. While these programs offer students community service hours, work experience, and a chance to delve deeper into their history, we also learn from students. I always find out something I didn’t know before from Chandler. Did you know earlier stickball sticks were more like giant spoons? I didn’t! Just as we learn from them, we hope they learn from us – beyond the technical know-how of Museum work. And of course, we hope to see them again!
These aren’t the only programs we offer. We also offer internships for local Ahfachkee students and internships and volunteer opportunities for non Tribal members. You can find out more about those programs here: https://www.ahtahthiki.com/downloads/Intern-and-Volunteer-Program-Guide-6.4.2019.pdf.