Students take interest in summer programs, gift exchange

By: Maria Allard | Warren Weekly | Published August 9, 2016


WARREN — On the afternoon of Aug. 4, Warren Woods Tower High School 2016 graduate Justice Anyim was busy at work in the Make It Work special-needs summer school program.

The 18-year-old was crafting yet another pen made from wood to add to the collection of pens, keychains, serving trays, coasters and trivets the students have made this summer. A number of materials, including granite, were among the recycled items that students used.

“It’s pretty challenging at first,” Anyim said. “It takes a lot of concentration to get them in the right shape. I’m into building stuff. I want to be an electrical engineer in the future. This gives a nice background.”

The Make It Work program, developed by WWTHS occupational therapists Michele Morgan and Debb Carlton, provided an introduction to machine technology and woodworking in a real-life work environment. This summer’s three-week program was held July 18-Aug. 4.

Students trained in computer numerical control machining, lathe operation, vinyl cutting, glass etching, computerized embroidery and light construction. In the program, students also developed positive work behaviors that students can transfer to post-secondary training facilities, community college or competitive employment.

Blake Pomaville, 16, decided to try out the program. He will be a junior at WWTHS this fall.

“I find it very interesting,” said Pomaville, who also registered for the Michigan Works culinary arts training program held at WWTHS. “It’s very hands-on. We get to learn how to run these machines. It will look good on a résumé to know how to run them.”

This summer, the Make It Work students developed a collaborative relationship with the culinary arts students instructed by WWTHS teacher Sandra Adams. The Make It Work students donated 72 eggs from the quails they have been raising to the culinary arts students, who used them for a number of dishes. While all the Make It Work students attend Warren Woods Tower, the cooking students are from various schools.

Last Thursday, the students from both groups met up for lunch. The culinary arts students treated the Make It Work kids to a meal of chicken, fettuccine alfredo, caesar salad and more. In exchange, the Make It Work students presented gifts they made in class to the budding chefs.

The culinary arts students also made various dishes using the quail eggs. Katelyn Price, 15, who will be a sophomore at Henry Ford II, used them to make a hash browns dish that looked very festive.

Dejanelle Martin-Hobbs, 17, made deviled eggs. The WWT incoming senior enjoyed the cooking class.

“It’s a good learning experience,” she said. “You make a lot of friends and you develop employment skills.”

Using the quail eggs, 16-year-old Jasmine Vue made a Thai dish known as Khaub Poob and with a touch of the Hmong culture. The dish was made with chicken, broth, eggs, cilantro and cabbage.

“Cooking is my favorite thing to do,” said the incoming junior, who does a lot of cooking at home and was glad to be involved in the summer program.

For more information on the Make It Work program, visit the website or Michele Morgan’s Twitter account @Michelewwtot.