For her first co-op experience, Lauren Vitas ’19 ventured to the beautiful west coast city of San Francisco, California. There she joined the wonderful team at Children’s After School Arts (CASA) as a teacher’s aide. CASA is a non-profit, creative after school program dedicated to “guiding San Francisco’s youth toward open expression, expansive hearts and questioning minds.” Working primarily with second grade students, Lauren assisted with homework, implemented restorative practices to diffuse arguments, and even joined in on the recess fun of playing freeze tag, four square or pretend. Through this involvement with the students, Lauren was able to develop trust with the students and gain a better understanding of how to best be a mentor. Lauren was further able to combine her love of art and youth interaction, through the planning and execution of a musical, written and directed by the founder of CASA (who also happens to be an Antioch alum). Another of Lauren’s projects involved interviewing fifth graders playing lead roles in the musical and putting together their biographies for the programs. She also provided theatre and music lessons for the students. “This experience is bringing me closer to my educational goals as it’s showing me what it is really like working with and teaching students, how a nonprofit can be run and what it takes to put on an original musical with over 200 students,” Lauren remarks.