What is this summer's theme? Is it "We are Awesome," or "We Hold the World in our Hands," or "We create the future?" This is my sixth summer with the B-SAFE program. They all blurred together after a while. While things may be blurry, being here for that amount of time has allowed me to see growth. And by growth, I don’t just mean seeing participants come back year after year a couple inches taller, and with different voices. Youth that were once part of our LEARN program are now participating as YLC. I mean I have seen growth in attitudes, growth in maturity, and growth in awareness.
Even I have grown at B-SAFE. I started off as a LEAD for three years at St. A&M. And from there, I grew into a Site Director for Epiphany YLC. That’s the cool thing about B-SAFE; everyone has the opportunity to grow. This year my staff is made up of three young women who all started off as CITs (Teen Staff) here at Epiphany. I met Nuribis, Erondina, and Chaia in the summer of 2014. They were juniors in high school and I was a first-year site director. We were all trying to find our place within YLC, and learn how 10 through 13 year olds interact with the world.
Together, we learned how to eat in 15 minutes or less, how to dance and nae-nae, what it means to be on “fleek”, and how to “ force it”. After three summers together, we know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. We know how to push each other and when to offer each other a break. It has been an honor to watch them transform from awkward counselors in training who didn’t know how to mop the floor to strong empowered women who can take charge of a group of 20 middle schoolers.
We have lived the themes. They are awesome, they will create the future, and it is in their hands to make a better world.
Just look how much we have grown.
By Diana "D" Colón, Epiphany YLC Site Director
Born and raised in Puerto Rico. I came to Boston 9 years ago for a job and been here ever since. I spend my time teaching small children how to read and write in both English and Spanish. As well as teaching them some counting, addition and subtraction. I have spent my last 5 summers with St. Stephen’s Youth Programs. My favorite number is 3 or 11. I like my coffee strong and sweet. And I got a soft spot for animals. I’m a firm believer that a smile can open doors, and nothing is impossible con un poco de paciencia y fe.