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It has been a pleasure to work with B-SAFE this summer as a Teen Staff Coordinator. I am very proud of the work the CITs did all summer. I had the opportunity to connect and get to know an amazing group of adolescents who have so much to offer. I can definitely say that they taught me something new everyday! I was also able to see first hand how valuable and important the job that the teens do is for B-SAFE; without them we could not serve as many youth as we do. Everyone in the B-SAFE team embodied the “Feel Big, Feel Safe, and Feel Connected” mentality that makes St. Stephen’s Youth Programs an amazing part of the communities where they’re located. It is a wonderful feeling to look back at the summer and know that we all feel proud of what we accomplished as a family, it is equally exciting to look ahead and see all the amazing things our youth will be doing in the future!
Posted by Mayra Sanders, Teen Staff Coordinator
This summer came to end with a water carnival at Barbara C. Harris Camp (BCH) in New Hampshire. For me it was a beautiful ending to a wonderful summer. The youth, teens, and staff were all together, engaged, and enjoying the festivities. The carnival included stations of water games such as Duck Duck Goose with a pitcher of water, slip and slide, a dunk tank, and various water competitions.
Overall, the kids have shown their eagerness and their willingness to learn new things and expand their minds. With that being said, they have also expanded my mind, and helped me notice things that adults have a tendency to forget. For example, that learning, growing, and developing our minds doesn’t end once we reach adulthood. We, as adults, can sometimes forget to focus on the positivity in a situation, and the fact that life always goes on. The kids positive outlook on life has shown me each and every day that there is a reason to smile, and to continue working hard and striving for the best. All of these kids are my future, and more than that they are OUR future.
Posted by Cassandra Bernabel
Over the last five weeks as the site assistant for St. Stephens’s LEARN program I have learned so many new things. For example, how to work with many different types of personalities when it comes to the kids and the other staff members. As the site assistant I was able to offer redirection, help, and guidance whenever it was needed. One of my favorite parts of the summer was that there was never a dull moment at St. Stephen’s. I was always on my feet whether it meant stepping into a group as a lead, or helping volunteers set up and distribute lunch. In addition to working with so many different types of people I have also learned a lot about myself. Overall, this summer has been a huge success. I loved coming into St. Stephen’s every morning and seeing the children, staff, and volunteer’s happy, excited faces.
Posted by Brianna Hall, Site Assistant at St. Stephen’s LEARN
I can’t believe another summer at B-SAFE has come and gone. This was another amazing summer with B-SAFE at St. Luke’s. We crammed lots of fun and learning into four short weeks. Everyone involved experienced monumental growth over these past four weeks. Not only did our campers grow tremendously, but our teens and staff did also. The staff started out the summer as a group of strangers that didn’t know much about each other except that they all liked working with kids. After the staff underwent three days of training together they became a family. Throughout the summer the staff experienced the highs and lows that any family goes through, but it was all worthwhile. Shy teens that were apprehensive about their own leadership potential at first flourished into leaders, and as they found themselves they also developed their own style of leadership. I was blessed to be able to observe that happen. Many of the teens didn’t know much about our program when they started, but as the summer went on they started to love it as much as those of us who return every summer.
Teens led games with campers while staff stepped out of their comfort zones and had multiple new experiences as leaders. Many of us assumed that when we took jobs at B-SAFE we would be giving back to our community. What we didn’t realize is how much B-SAFE and the kids would give back to us. We learned about ourselves, our potential, and what it means to truly give back. This summer at B-SAFE kids and adults played, learned, and thrived together. This is a bittersweet end for me. I will miss the program over the next 10 months, but I will take with me the memories of the B-SAFE St. Luke’s family, and all that we accomplished in a such small period of time.
Posted by Mauryn Perkins, Site Director at St. Luke’s
Overall I have had an absolutely incredible experience at B-SAFE this summer. This past week I had the opportunity to accompany many B-SAFE students and teens on their trip to the Barbara C. Harris Camp in Greenfield, New Hampshire, and it was a wonderful way to wrap up my internship. We had an amazing time camping, swimming, canoeing, and learning about nature, but I think my favorite part of the trip was the closing campfire where kids had the chance to offer their reflections on their experiences at B-SAFE this year to the entire group.
Many of the students commented on the new friends that they have made, the lessons they have learned both within and outside of the academic curriculum, and the exceptional field trips that they were able to attend this year. Upon hearing their thoughts, I was able to reflect upon my own time here at B-SAFE, and I realized how much the kids and staff of B-SAFE have impacted me. This summer has been an unbelievable adventure, and I know that the lessons that I have learned from the people around me will prove invaluable as I go forward into the future. As a member of the Academic Team I helped to plan our academic curriculum and specialty days, and looking back I feel like these two aspects of the program ran very smoothly. I had the chance to work with an awesome group of specialists, leads, and teens who continuously strove to create a fun, safe, and nurturing academic environment for our kids. The specialty days this summer gave our young people a unique opportunity to learn about art, Latin America, going green, and inventing their futures. All in all I am so grateful for my summer here at B-SAFE, and I can’t wait to see what the program has in store for 2014!
Posted by Tess Rodriguez, Academic Intern