Shaping young minds; young minds shaping me

I’m halfway through my internship experience already, and I can’t believe it! The youth I’ve been working with are just fantastic, and we’ve been growing closer and closer. There is a total of fifteen youth in the Youth Building Communities program and three interns/counselors. They were split up into three groups of five to one counselor and got to choose a name their crew would be referred to for the duration of the summer. The youth that were assigned to my group choose to be called “team goat.” What “goat” stands for is Greatest Of All Time, I couldn’t help but laugh and be impressed by their creativity. Needless to say, I am very proud to be the sixth member of team goat!

 

This is where all the fun happens!

Every Thursday we take a field trip around Boston, and last week we took a trip to Roller World in Saugus. I hadn’t been skating since I was about sixteen; so almost as young as they are. A few of them stayed with me while I practiced and showed me some pointers. Then, it was time to hit the rink! We skated for over two hours while they whipped around the rink dancing, laughing, and sometimes poking fun at my less than superior skating skills. They called me over to eat because a small group had been saving a seat for me. I always enjoy these times the most because they ask me about my life and try to figure out who this girl is that comes in everyday all the way from Waltham. They seem to be unafraid of the world, excited about whatever it is to come, and they never seem as if they’re worried about tomorrow, because right now is all that matters to them. Sometimes I sit back and wish that adults were more like these twelve year old children, seeing the world through their eyes is a privilege I definitely appreciate.

YBC (youth building communities) also takes part in a community service initiative every Tuesday. This past Tuesday we were working with members of the Emerald

Necklace Conservatory. The kids helped weed the bushes, mulch the floor, and pick up around the park. We split them into two different groups, and got to work. We played a name game with the members before starting the project of the day, which served as a way for everyone to learn everyone’s name. The youth warmed up to the members rather quickly and started gravitating to them while they were working. I was really happy that we got to participate in such a positive program, and give back to the community at the same time.

Tuesdays are also our pool days were the youth are permitted to swim for an hour and a half. During this time, whoever doesn’t want to swim can lounge around or play UNO, the card game. At RTH Uno is a very serious game, none of the youth take it lightly. We actually play elimination rounds and the last person in the game isn’t permitted to play the next round. We do this until we get to a “championship round.” I made it to this round and ended up winning the title of “Uno Champion of RTH.” My title has since been challenged but I’m holding the lead. The youth are exceptionally good at this game, so I don’t know hold long it may last.

– Alyssa Green ’15

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