I’ve finally found the perfect opportunity to tackle #49 on my list: Volunteer on a regular basis with children.
With my early gym sessions and regular work schedule, I have lots of free time on my hands to take on something else exciting and challenging; especially since I don’t know how to sit still! I’ve been wanting to volunteer with a youth program with young girls which aims to address the fears, uncertainties and self-image facing today’s youth – so I began searching for one. As soon as stumbled across local YWCA program called Welcome to My Life, I knew I had found the one.
Welcome to My LifeTM (WTML) is a fun, interactive after-school program for grade 7 girls to help with the transition to high school! Concerns about work load and school environment, new social pressures, different friends and other changes can be overwhelming, so this is where WTML comes in! This seven week program is focused on three major themes: Choice, Fear, Trust. Through a variety of activities including games, small group discussions, skits and a community service learning project, YOU will explore a variety of topics including self-esteem, healthy lifestyles, peer and family relationships and internet safety, with the overall goal to feel more confident and prepared for your transition to high school and have the skills and knowledge to be able to make good decisions!
The program goals are to:
- Promote self-awareness and self-esteem amongst boys and girls
- Encourage mutual respect between boys and girls as equals
- Encourage boys and girls to work together to assume responsibility for social and community issues.
Today was the big training day for all the program volunteers so I got to meet lots of individuals in many different stages of their lives, all coming together for one reason; to inspire change. I think the social issues that the youth face today are even more detrimental to self-confidence than when I was that age – and since I’ve been through it and have over come many of the same issues I hope I will be able to offer some insight for the girls. The program runs for two months and has a fantastic program already laid out for us!
I was asked to be a “Wisdom Champion” which means I have been given the responsibility to over see the group of young girls, a high school student and two program facilitators. ( <– BIG DEAL!) Not only will I be able to support these youth in developing personal skills to comfortably transition into a scary new phase of their lives, but I will be able to participate in a social community project with them! I don’t know if I’m more nervous or excited because these girls will be looking to me for scary advice on a whole slew of personal issues.
Excited? Yes! Ready for the challenge? Yes! Scared that these young girls are going to be looking up to me for advice? VERY YES.