Updated: Aug 30, 2021
Saraiya Piantek became the Duluth Community School Collaborative (DCSC) Coordinator at Denfeld High School in October of 2020. Saraiya hosts DASH or Denfeld After School Happenings, a program that invites students to learn about life skills outside of the classroom. The teens learn about things like taxes or cooking healthy meals. The students this summer were able to create their own meal by researching recipes and what ingredients were needed to make the meal. Saraiya has added summer field trips to the list of things students can do at DASH. Field trips range from camping, to paddle boarding and kayaking, and going on college tours to local colleges.
Saraiya said her favorite trip was paddle boarding and kayaking, “because there were a lot of kids who had not done it before, and they were able to just get out and have fun. Everyone had a smile on their face.”
There is a lot Saraiya has to do as the DCSC coordinator. She has flexibility and the opportunity to provide wraparound services to students and support to families that are not just academic. But, getting stuck at barriers trying to shift the school the system atmosphere is one of the hardest parts of her job.
“I am learning with them. Every single student and person is different: different backgrounds and things happening in their lives. I get to know each person as an individual to know what they need.”