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Dartmouth Student Works in Raymond With College Enrichment Program
By Leslie O’Donnell    12-13-17

Clayton Jacques, a junior at Dartmouth College in Hanover, has been living in Raymond for the past several weeks while he serves as a SEAD intern at Raymond High School. SEAD stands for Summer Enrichment Program at Dartmouth, and Jacques’ assignment is to work with the RHS students in that program, and help motivate them on their path to college.

A biology major at Dartmouth, Jacques is from Massachusetts, and is considering a career in education. He will be spending next semester in a Dartmouth program in Costa Rica.

SEAD brings students from around the country to the Dartmouth campus in the summer, where they take classes, explore activities run by student organizations, and develop relationships with the Dartmouth community, as a way to prepare for and transition into college. SEAD also sends a Dartmouth student into a partner high school to maintain contact between the summer program and the students who will be attending it, as well as with their parents or guardians and school advisors.

Jacques heard about the SEAD program from a Dartmouth email and attended an information session. “SEAD sounded like a great program and seemed like a good place to get my feet wet, so I applied for this internship,” he said. He was involved with the summer program on campus last year, working with a SEAD student from Schenectady, N.Y., and then received the internship in Raymond. He has been living with Jonathan and Joyce Wood during his nine-week stay in town.

The SEAD program takes high school students from The Bronx and Schenectady, N.Y., West Roxbury, Mass., and Raymond. Jacques had asked to intern at a small, rural school, and Raymond fit the bill.

“It’s going well,” he said of his time in Raymond. “I’m liking it. It’s a good group of students, and it’s great to hear about their plans and interests.”

Jacques spends most of his time with Raymond’s SEAD students – five girls and two boys, all sophomores. “These kids were at Dartmouth last summer, and one of the main goals for the internship is for me to follow up on what they did in the summer, and keep them motivated toward college,” he said. That blends in well with the Reach High Scholars program, a nonprofit that encourages middle school and high school students in Raymond to “reach high” in their pursuit of education and apply to highly competitive colleges.

Jacques works with the SEAD students on goals such as doing well in school, and making helpful connections with their peers and teachers. The cohort of seven will return to Dartmouth this coming summer for another SEAD session.

 

Clayton Jaques

 

Jacques said he has heard a lot of positives from the RHS students about their summer at Dartmouth, and said they’re looking forward to going back – some have even asked if it would be possible to have a mini-reunion at Dartmouth during the school year.

To accomplish his mentoring goals, Jacques heads to Raymond High each school day and meets with the students individually as well as in small groups. He recently hosted a pizza lunch with them to talk about their summer experience.

Jacques also sits in on some of the students’ classes, gaining insight into how they interact with both peers and teachers, what the difference is between honors and regular classes, and how the teachers carry out instruction – “what works and what doesn’t,” he said. In addition to giving him a closer look at his students’ lives, that experience has helped Jacques think about the role of teachers in the educational process.

“This hasn’t discouraged me about going into education,” he said. “The SEAD program is really geared to mentoring, and now I would like something involved with leading a classroom.”

Jacques also has been helping out in the RHS guidance office, where he has updated the scholarship database and helped organize an interview and hiring fair for after-school jobs.

Jacques leaves Raymond on Nov. 15, and said his experience in town has definitely been worthwhile. He’s also worked to get to know the community. “I ride my bike on the rail trail, and I went to some of the homecoming events, as some of the SEAD kids were involved in a float in the parade,” he recalled. “It’s nice to see the town spirit.

“And I’ve met a lot of people during my stay here,” he added, noting that the Woods “certainly know their fair share about Raymond and its surroundings.” He’s gone on a camping trip to Weare with their family and friends, as well as participated in contra dancing events in the area.  And the weather provided an unexpected boon – Jacques was able to take advantage of September’s warm temperatures by swimming in Onway Lake.

“I’ve met a lot of people in town, and I’ve learned why SEAD is important for people in this area,” he said. “Some people don’t necessarily think of going to college or going to a school like Dartmouth, but it can be a realistic option.”