Summer has always been my favorite season, but spending my summer working at the Sac Youth Center is in a way special, all on its own. The beginning of Summer officially marks my 1 year anniversary of being a staff member here at the Sacramento Youth Center. It is my personal belief that the center shines brighter during the summer season. The music is louder, the days last longer, the atmosphere is filled with that sense of freedom and excitement that comes along with the school break. The reason I love the center so much during the summer season is because it’s the perfect summer getaway. It’s the umbrella on a hot sandy beach, the ice cream truck in the middle of July, the perfect shady spot under a tree when you’re out in the park. Surrounded by friends, the laughter is contagious, the movies are always accompanied by popcorn, and you never feel alone. Summer will always come to an end as the seasons move along, and eventually everybody gets tired of the smell of sunscreen and the sun beating down on the sidewalk. But what’s nice about the Sac Youth Center is that feeling of freedom and excitement never really leaves even as the summer season goes on. Through Fall, Winter, and Spring the feelings and friends stay the same, and I am always reminded how awesome it is to work here.
When I think of Peer Mentoring, I think of the countless benefits it provides for not only youth, but many involved in a community. The Sacramento Youth Center really warms my heart because for a while I never knew my place in my community.
For this newsletter we thought we would introduce you to our amazing team. We have been blessed with some of the most amazing young people that are working with us. Below is just a bit about each of them.
For most of my adult life I have worked with teenagers and young adults. Almost 9 of those years I have been working with refugees. Both overseas and here in Sacramento. A question I get asked a lot is “How can you relate to refugee and immigrant youth?”. The answer to this question is surprising to a lot, not because of the complexity but because of the simplicity.
So my first job was with the city Davis in the parks and rec department. I had volunteered with them for two years prior to going in for the actual position. I remember it was my sophomore year in high school around January and I was talking to the camp coordinator for all main city camps when the hiring interviews for camp counselor position would start.
I remember believing in myself whole heartedly in grade school. I remember believing that becoming a doctor was exactly what I would do when I “Grew-up”. Becoming doctor was my dream.
In 1989 the Berlin wall fell and the reunification of East and West Germany began. However, 31 years later you can still see a scar across the city, in fact it is so noticeable you can see it from space. When looking at Berlin from space at night you can see the clear divide between East and West Berlin.
Why? Because the color of the streetlights. On the east side, the streetlights have a yellow tint, on the west they are whiter.