This summer I spent most of my time working at the YMCA with the youth. I was a camp counselor for the 6-7 year old group, specifically the 6-7 year old girls, but I was able to make many connections with kids of all different age groups. It’s easy to preach about working with the youth by influencing positivity in their lives, but to actually be apart of changing their lives is major. Being a summer camp counselor left an unexplainable impression on me. As a camp counselor, I was able to appreciate being young; I was able to play fun games, sing songs, dance, joke around, and teach a few kids how to read; and most importantly I grew to genuinely care about all the kids I came in contact with at the camp.
As a 22 year old college student, I get so stuck in my own life sometimes that I can’t fully appreciate the beauty of the world around me. I don’t want to fall into the theory that “the older you get, the harder it is for you to change your ways”. I live by the act of being an ‘always’ changing human being. In retrospect, when I worked with the 6-7 year old girls this summer, I got a glimpse of myself from a non-judgmental perspective. The kids at the “Y” probably couldn’t fathom how much they changed my life for the better, but they did.
Working with people; especially children from different age groups, different backgrounds, and with different personalities, allowed me to expand my people skills and my heart. I met and talked to a couple of people while working at the “Y” that thanked me for working with these kids, especially since they lived in an urban neighborhood. The prejudgment, from outside people, on how some of the kids would act because of what type of environment they lived in was far-fetched. People are going to act they way they act based on who they are. All the kids that I worked with were brave, sweet, loving, intelligent, and individuals. It was a blessing to work with some of the staff and all of the kids. I made such great memories that will last a lifetime.
To anyone out there that supports youth empowerment, and are thinking about giving back to their communities, working with children is an awesome field to experience. It’s great working with young people from all walks of life, because they’re fresh, brave, unique, and open to change. There are so many opportunities out here that allows people to give back to children who need it. I’m glad I took my first step in empowering young people this summer, but I know there will be more opportunities for me to give back to my community.
Thanks for reading.