Starting with this post, we are launching a new series of posts featuring YouthBuild Philly’s volunteers of the month. This month, we recognize Kia Lacey! Kia is working towards her Master’s in Psychology at Kaplan University and has donated 45 hours of her time to tutoring YouthBuild students since September 2013. We asked her to reflect on her experience at YouthBuild so far:
Volunteering at YouthBuild for the past couple of months has been a really great experience for me. The students have taught me a lot about persevering through struggles and difficulties and becoming a better person. Some of the students that I have encountered have told me how YouthBuild has changed them for the better and it makes me happy that there is a place where the students can get a second chance to become better people.
One interaction with a student that was particularly powerful for me was with a student who was having a rough time with school because of personal issues. At such a young age, she has a child to raise, had negative thoughts of herself, and had somewhat of a troubled home life. Even with all she was going through, she still managed to come to school and produce quality work. This is a person who is determined to become better and live better. Her determination is definitely something I admire.
I feel like I make a difference at YouthBuild when students openly ask for help and actually take in the advice I give. It can be difficult to ask for help especially from someone you really don’t know. It makes me feel good when they apply the information I gave them to their work and then say “Thank you Ms. Kia, that helped out a lot!”
Another thing I love about YouthBuild is that there are young people helping young people. Many of the staff members are young and who better to help and guide you than someone who understands you and the time that you live in. A better rapport is built when the students feel like the staff can relate to them in some way.
Thank you Kia!