Lions and Tigers and Volunteers, Oh Yeah!

Posted by Kathryn Klopp on October 28, 2013 in Afterschool

Where can you find a room full of dinosaurs, Wall Street professionals, and inquisitive 12-year-olds spending time together? They all joined forces last Thursday at the American Museum of Natural History thanks to a collaboration with New York Cares and 25 Morgan Stanley legal and compliance employees who stepped up to volunteer. With the volunteers as their guides, students from our Kappa IV After School program in Harlem embarked on an epic museum scavenger hunt that brought them face to face with ancient sea turtles the size of cars and poisonous frogs no larger than pennies.

The reward for the scavenger hunt winners was, of course, bragging rights in Morgan Stanley boardrooms and Harlem classrooms alike. In the end, everyone counted themselves winners, and the greatest rewards were the unseen ones—the academic impact on the visiting learners. For ESS’ students, After School is often the place where learning comes to life and becomes tangible and relevant. As many schools face cutbacks and generally suffer from a lack of resources, science and history classes are often the first to go. Hands-on learning and field trips take a back seat to extra test prep. With partners like New York Cares and Morgan Stanley, ESS is able to bring some of the most exciting and important academic experience back to students.

After investigating miles of museum, volunteers and students reflected on an extra fun day of learning. “The students were so engaged and made this a great experience,” said one volunteer.

“We all had a wonderful time, especially the students who have never had the opportunity to visit the Museum,” explained Alicia Thomas Partee, The After School Director at Kappa IV. Those who had seen the museum before made friends with the Morgan Stanley volunteers, discussing their aspirations for high school, college, and careers. “Most of all they enjoyed sharing their stories with the Morgan Stanley Staff,” she added. “They had so much fun and were so inspired that they are creating a video game about their trip to the museum involving dinosaurs.”

Thanks to the support of New York Cares and the time generously committed by Morgan Stanley’s team, students were able to get a privileged look at one of their city’s greatest educational assets. With more mentorship events scheduled for the near future, students will have an opportunity to spend more quality time with Morgan Stanley Legal and Compliance professionals helping them developing their core skills and building a strong network of mentors.