Supporting My Community by Volunteering at YWCA
I came to the YWCA Minneapolis Girls and Youth program because I wanted a way to serve the community and to be around young people. My day-to-day life is generally working with adults age 60 and above as a speech therapist, going home and binge-watching Netflix (which is lovely), but it’s nice some nights to do something different and break up your routine. Volunteering at YWCA Minneapolis is my way to be a part of the community.
Finding a Way to Help My Community
I found the volunteer opportunity with YWCA’s Girls and Youth program on the internet and thought it sounded awesome. Good ole’ Google. I really like it!
I feel like there are a lot of changes and uncertainty happening right now in our country, oftentimes leaving many of us feeling afraid and a little disconnected. This feeling pushed me to find a new way to connect with my community. Volunteering with youth seemed like a step in the right direction.
Building Positive Relationships with Youth
My undergrad is in Special Education, so I have experience working in schools – it’s a natural fit. It’s fun to be able to work with the girls and build positive relationships with them. I like that our time is not structured like school, which gives the youth an opportunity to be themselves a little more. We also get to do new and fun activities together, which I love.
One great experience with the group was walking to Sebastian Joe’s for some ice cream. It was so fun to see them outside of the school. It felt adult to them and I don’t think they knew they could get ice cream so close to school. It was so fun to see them place their order and watch them chat with each other. They were so excited. The sun was shining and it was happy moment.
Helping Others (and yourself!)
I think when you sign up to volunteer most people have the intention of helping someone else, and you do, but it’s also so gratifying and beneficial for yourself. There are so many lessons that I learn when I volunteer. I’m a strong proponent of getting outside of yourself, and I enjoy coming to YWCA Minneapolis. It’s just fun to get this “shot of energy” while volunteering.
Supporting Girls Through Volunteering
I’m a firm believer that every drop in the bucket helps. I think YWCA Minneapolis is a wonderful cause. As a woman, I want younger girls to feel supported and to feel safe and to think, “Hey, I can be whoever I want to be.” There’s a lot of progress being made, but it’s still not in a place where most people would like things to be. That’s what drew me to this opportunity. It’s a time where as a collective we are trying to analyze and figure out things in the world. So I think it’s important to create this safe space for girls and do my part as a volunteer.