Thank You to Our Summer Interns!

This summer, we were fortunate to have the help of two phenomenal interns, who volunteered their time and skills to propel our mission.

Jocelyn and Martie

Jocelyn Guizar is a Bay Area native who is interested in education and social impact. This fall, she enters The New School in New York City to obtain a masters in Philosophy.

Jocelyn was drawn to Wishbone’s mission because the experiences of our students resonated with her own. She shared with us this story:

“After speaking to one of my professors during office hours, I stood outside her door collecting tears. But I wasn’t weeping because I was sad. I wept because I felt relieved. During our conversation my professor had casually said ‘…when you get your PhD.’”

“This meant so much to me, because I recall being told on almost a daily basis that it would be difficult for me to get an undergraduate education. In retrospect, I realize that it is possible that I received this message because of what I looked like and where I lived (aka my socioeconomic background). Many well-meaning adults told me to work hard because it would be a difficult road. It may seem like a subtle difference, but in reality, the most uplifting thing an educator did was tell me what I could do, not what challenges I would face.”

“This summer, I volunteered for the Wishbone team to give 100+ students an opportunity to find such environments. When we put our students in the hands of educators at top tier programs, not only do we give them the opportunity to follow their passions and make discoveries about themselves, but we also expose them to leading educators whose aim is to cultivate the dreams of enthusiastic students.”

Martie Ogle is a graduate of the Hotchkiss School, which is also the alma mater of Wishbone founder Beth Schmidt. A native of Oakland, Martie will be attending Bowdoin College as a freshman this fall.

“This has been my first job in the real “working world,” and it was a very positive and rewarding experience! My biggest project was researching summer and after school programs in Northern California and New York. I’m really excited to see if students will enjoy their experiences at programs that I found.”

“My favorite part of working at Wishbone this summer was getting to know the students that Wishbone serves. I met five students at a Wishbone lunch in the beginning of the summer, and read updates from students all summer. I enjoyed sharing in everyone’s excitements, victories, and challenges.”

For opportunities to volunteer with Wishbone, please email

I Will Never Forget My Summer at Ithaca!

Deida is a social, motivated future advertiser. She participated in the Ithaca College Summer Program to learn more about advertiser. Read about her memorable experience below!

I really appreciated the small class structure at the Ithaca College Summer Program because my professor put all of his energy into the classroom. I thought the structure of being in college was better than a high school schedule because I got to manage more of my time around my homework. This program has helped me improve my writing skills for homework assignments, which is beneficial to me because I can carry writing skills with me when I go to college.

Taking the “Issues in Management” course made me realized that I truly want to major in advertising because I love doing collaborative work and making up strategies to promote products. My favorite part of the course was learning about how Apple got to be the highest-selling brand company in the world, even though they struggled in the beginning. I got to see how the company overcame their struggles with their strategic thinking.            

Additionally, being a part of this program has made me more independent. I experienced a wonderful time at Ithaca College and I will never forget the wonderful memories that I have with my friends and roommate, with whom I still keep in touch! Participating in this program has showed me that I am truly a people person because I love socializing and having company around me! All the memories that I had at Ithaca—going to Darien Lake, hiking with my friends, and making s’mores for the first time—are something that I definitely brought home with me. This summer has been one that I will never forget, and I wish I could have stayed longer. It is actually one of THE BEST summers I had so far! I am so thankful to my donors for helping me be a part of the 2014 Ithaca summer program! I truly recommend this to anyone!


Life Lessons at Ecology Project International

Luz has been an animal lover since the age of six, and this summer she pursued that love by studying turtles and ecosystems in Costa Rica with the Ecology Project International. Read her thoughtful reflections on her experience below:

My first day started a little rough due to our flight being delayed. I was really shy because everyone in my group had already had a day to meet each other and I had come late, and didn’t know anybody yet. One thing that surprised me a lot  about the program was that the group leaders cared about our health and the way we felt. That was reassuring!

Watching the baby sea turtles hatch from their eggs on the beach, and seeing many eggs rotting in the sand, had a great impact on me because I learned that life is risky and not everyone will survive. You have to make the best of every situation and keep going forward. I applied this lesson in my program when I tried to be optimistic when I was away from my family.

This program made me realize that sometimes it might be hard being away from the people you know and love, but it is the best experience you can have because you get to meet new wonderful people that have the same opinions and ideas as you. This program taught me a lot of life lessons, including the extent to which humans need to help the environment. It made me realize that caring for and helping animals is something I would like to do professionally. I would definitely recommend this program to a friend because I enjoyed what I was doing and the program pushed me to think in different ways about wildlife and cultures.


Finding My Passion at UCLA

Sarahi is a passionate designer who formerly expressed herself exclusively through sewing and fashion. She is using this summer program as a chance to learn new design skills with technology. Read about her exploration into computers below!

In the Design Media Arts summer program at UCLA, I learned many techniques that I will carry on throughout my life. The two week program was divided into four classes: video game design, web design, video/audio design, and typography. In video game design class, we learned the video game-making process. We started with creating our own characters on photoshop and worked towards making the world that the characters live in. I enjoyed this class because it challenged me to expand my creativity and make a world beyond what I normally see.

Web design was the class I enjoyed the most because I learned how to use a totally new program called ‘hotglue’ which allowed me to make my own website that looked almost exactly like the websites I normally see when I go online. The class also allowed me to express my thoughts through a website that could show an issue or idea that I wanted to communicate.

The video/ audio class was very challenging, but in the end, very rewarding. The group made a slide out of materials outside such as grass, dirt, salt, and leaves, then we took a picture of our own slides. With the photo of the slide we pulled it apart online and were able to make objects move around creating a video. In the end, we got to insert audio of something that we thought represented our video.

Typography was an interesting class where we got to create an alphabet out of pictures of objects we took that looked most similar to that letter. For example, I did shadows and created an alphabet from shadows shaped like each letter of the alphabet.

A significant event that happened during this program was a question and answer session with our leaders and UCLA graduate students about applying to UCLA. The session was very helpful and I received a lot of advice from current and past UCLA students. This program has influenced my plans in the future because I now want to look into expanding my creativity through technology. I would recommend this program to a friend because I learned many new interesting topics and made many new friends from different places around the world. Some advice I would give to other students attending this program is to be open to new things and new people. Overall, it was a great experience that I really enjoyed. This program  was definitely the highlight of my summer.


Amazing Experience at NSLC

Rimsha, a future medical rockstar, just finished an intensive medical program at the National Student Leadership Conference at American University in Washington D.C and had a blast learning to suture, dissect, and perform medical procedures on mannequins.

At the National Student Leadership Conference, we covered a vast array of medical topics including medical ethics and toxicology as well as leadership topics such as negotiation and the personality matrix.  During our surgical rounds, we had the opportunity to dissect a cow’s eye and a sheep’s heart, explore the field of pathology, and suture a pig’s foot.  We also visited a medical training facility called SiTel in D.C. and participated in stations of laparoscopic surgery, CPR, suturing and knot tying, intubation and cardiology, where we performed on mannequins and used medical equipment. Later in the week we watched the movie Contagion and discussed epidemics, ethics, and the dilemmas the film had presented to us.  A highlight of the NSLC Medicine and Healthcare Forum was the “Life from the Heart” heart surgery screening. The screening was a recording of a heart surgery and from the use of a medical saw to the use of a heart-lung machine, the surgery process was quite a shocker for me! I later learned after watching the heart bypass surgery that my grandfather had gone through the same kind of heart bypass surgery a few years ago and suddenly the curriculum at NSLC was relatable.  

In addition to the academics we went to the Smithsonian Museums and Capitol Hill, the Washington-at-Night Tour, historic Georgetown, and even a cruise! Finally, living on the campus of American University was its own unique and interesting experience. This was my first time in a dorm in an actual college and living at the university has given me an idea of a standard college experience.  I would definitely recommend this program to a friend seeking out the medical field. The academics are awesome and will leave the student awed and full of curiosity. The intelligence of the students I met and worked with surprised me, and my peers made the experience even more great. My friends and I even started calling NSLC “Nerd Camp”! NSLC offers many programs in many areas of the country, and I would recommend attending a program away from your hometown so you can get the benefit of exploring a new city. I would encourage a student to enroll in a program with a topic he or she has not yet had the chance to deeply explore because you never know where your inspiration will come from.

Below is a picture of the Laparoscopic Surgery Station at SiTel (Simulation Training and Education Lab)


Life-Changing Experience in Ecuador

Ivana is a young environmental scientist who hopes to study human impact on the environment and climate change. She’s on an adventure in Ecuador learning about these topics and so much more!

I have been in Ecuador for eight full days, and these eight days have changed my life completely. This experience has opened my eyes to so many different issues going on in the world, including environmental issues in the Amazon Rainforest. It really surprises me that all of the oil in the Amazon Rainforest can only sustain the United States for 40 days. When I heard that statistic, my jaw dropped.  The Rainforest is such a beautiful place and I will never forget this trip. I will always remember this trip as an amazing experience for me because I was able to meet so many different and unique people; from native tribes to cultural cities.

Today, I met some people from a little tribe in the Amazon called the Waorani Tribe, and it was very touching to be able to meet the members of the tribe. Even though they don’t have enough to eat every day, they are still able to put a smile on their faces and always be happy. I gave a couple of the kids in the tribe my lunch, and I can’t even describe the look on their faces. Their faces lit up as if they were getting presents on Christmas morning. I also gave a few gifts to other people in the tribe.  It frustrated me to learn that if places such as the United States and China weren’t so dependent on oil, we would be able to save many other rainforests and ecosystems that are being destroyed for oil drilling. Oil drilling will not only ruin the forest, but it will force all of these tribes out of their home, and their lifestyle. The Waorani people are very happy with their way of living, and it was an inspiring experience to be able to meet them. Two of the men that were part of the tribe, who were also our guides through the rainforest, gave me a traditional Waorani name which was really special to me. The name they gave me was ONkaye, which means “something that holds fire within it”.

Throughout the trip so far, I have had the opportunity to go to a hot springs, pet monkeys, meet new people, and so much more. I cannot thank each one of you enough, because this is a trip that I will remember for the rest of my life.


New Experiences at Syracuse University

Hillary is enjoying her time at the Syracuse University Creative Writing Program. Read about her adventure below!

On my first day of my summer program at Syracuse University, I was scared and nervous. It was hard for me to separate from my parents, but now, I feel more independent after being on my own. I’m already four days into my program and it has been an amazing experience so far. I’m getting to know different people from all over the country. The Creative Writing Program has been my favorite so far, and I love the teachers too. One thing that has surprised me is that Syracuse University is an open campus, but it is really safe and quiet. The picture is our group floor called “The Floor Wars”.


An Overall Amazing Time in Spain!

Amy went on a trip to Spain with the Experiment in International Living program. Read all about this world traveler’s adventures and new friends below!


Spain was fantastic!!! I didn’t want to leave! After my group left Madrid, we visited the city of Guadix for 13 days. There, we took flamenco dance and ceramic classes. One of our group leaders happened to be a professional flamenco dancer, so he helped us learn the technique and history of the dance. We went to a flamenco show in a gypsy town and I ended up having a blast! In ceramics, we crafted the famous Cuevas and recreated the Guernica made by Picasso. All of our teachers were extremely nice and caring, greeting us with open arms. We also had five teenage Spaniards show us more of Guadix; they were sweethearts and always made sure we were safe and were having good time. We had a 4th of July party on a rooftop with a gorgeous view and fireworks, which can be seen in the first picture. In addition, the food in Guadix was absolutely amazing!! I tried paella and ate ice cream with gofres (waffles) almost every day! I enjoyed learning about new cultures in Guadix and teaching people about the American culture as well. In our last day in Guadix, we had a flamenco performance and many locals came to see us. Our group after the performance can be seen in the picture below.


After Guadix, we went to Granada for ten days for our home stay. We lived with Spanish families to immerse ourselves completely in the culture. I loved my host family! My parents were absolute sweethearts and went out of their way to take care of me and make me feel comfortable, which I greatly appreciated. My host sister, Lucia, was great also; she made sure I had a fun time and hung out with me a lot. She brought me everywhere with her friends, which helped me to really experience the Granada culture from a youth perspective. The last photo below shows Lucia and I at a carnival we went to with her friends. My travelling group met every morning in Granada for different activities like going to the beach, hiking, and sightseeing. We visited an interactive science museum known as “El Parque de las Ciencias”. We also visited the Alhambra, an ancient location with old buildings and a church.


It killed me to leave Spain! I cried the whole way back. Going to Spain taught me so much about the Spanish culture and all the factors that attributed to it. I also feel that we taught a lot of Spaniards about the American culture and disproved some negative stereotypes about Americans. Our group leaders Amytza and Ryan were the best!! They were so great that they inspired me to be a group leader in the future. Experiment in International Living is a program that I recommend for everyone because it is educational and fun! Just always remember to keep an open mind and to not be afraid to step out of your comfort zone.


Exploring, and Working Hard at, the Academy of Art!

Yair is a budding artist pursuing animation, motorcycle and car design, and comic book illustration at the Academy of Art Precollege Program. Read about his exploration into the art world below!

My first day at the Academy of Art University mostly consisted of lectures.  I got an insight into the kind of choices I would have to make and the kind of work I would do in my future if I choose this long and vigorous path of pursuing art. Everyone there had the same interests as me.  They all loved what they were doing, and no matter how long and hard the work seemed, the process of creating art never really seemed like work because we all loved what we were doing .

My classes have absorbed most of my time inside and outside of school.  The work has been challenging, and for the last couple of weeks I’ve gotten very little sleep. I spend most of my nights sketching out ideas for my “comic book illustration” class or my “car and motorcycle design” class. The classes that I find the most difficult are my car/motorcycle class and my  comic book Illustration class because they both demand large amounts of practice time and work. I am surprised by how much effort goes into the work needed for these classes.

I enjoy all of my classes at the Academy of Art and hope to attend again one day so I can try different fields of art.  One thing that surprised me was that I was meeting people from all around who all have one thing in common; we all love art! Thank you to all the wonderful people who made this experience possible.  Below is a picture of a dragon I created in my animation class on photoshop.


Doing Things I Never Thought I Could!

Melissa is wrapping up her time at the Academy of Art University summer program. Read about her growth in 3D modeling!

As the last week at the Academy of Arts continues, I reflect on all that I have learned. The picture below is my 3D modeling of a minion from the “Despicable Me” movies. Before this program, I never thought that I would be able to do something like this. This minion may not be a professional modeling project, but it is a really good resemblance. We have done other modeling projects, but I am the most proud of this one because it was one of my first designs in my class. As for my other classes, I will keep you posted with the final projects!  


About Us

Wishbone is a new non-profit sending low-income high school students to after school and summer programs.