Summer Program Takes On Sixth Year

Taylor Biddle, Business Manager

On Wednesday, August 1st, Dawttiniang Phuting, senior Angela Par, senior Sui Tin Zathang, Southport junior San De Li, and sophomore Christina Sui researched and presented ways to build female empowerment through The Burmese American Community Institute’s (BACI) Summer Research Program. Important figures, such as principal Kert Boedicker, Mayor Joe Hogsett and other city officials, attended this presentation.
BACI is a non-profit organization that offers many opportunities for high school students and adults while investing in the overall growth of the Burmese community. There are two programs directed towards high school students, the first being the After School Program. Students take advantage of tutoring sessions and activities that allow volunteer work as well as guidance with college visits and navigating through the college application process.
The Summer Research Program is an intensive research project that focuses on topics relating to academics and leadership development. The program has been active every summer since 2012. This eight week research project addresses social justice issues facing the Burmese community in Perry Township.
Stud[ents are required to conduct surveys and draw solutions for topics of their interest. Ultimately, BACI provides students with educational assistance and promotes the progression of these issues.
Drawing together the gathered information, Phuting’s group created a slideshow to summarize their findings. The final solutions were ESL classes to strengthen women’s proficiency in the workplace and providing support programs to assist women in everyday situations in order to create female empowerment within the community.
Fundamentally, this project allows students to build a professional profile while coordinating surveys and interviews to males and females alike. It also teaches the students how to research a topic and bring the reports together in a polished, presentable form, which prepares for the rigor of college research assignments.
The overall goal for this project is for students to learn how to better overcome issues that the Burmese community faces while giving students educational input. The most important and beneficial result after completing the research, Phuting said, was “being able to help my people, the Burmese American community.”
Through this project, Phuting and her group were able to represent their community and promote female empowerment all while creating an unforgettable experience.