Having been a part of St. Stephen’s Youth Programs since the age of 17, I can confidently say that community is the best way to describe this program. I started off as a Counselor in Training, moved on to be a Lead Counselor, and this summer I have the pleasure of being a first year Site Director. Throughout the years I have formed lifelong friendships and created amazing memories. I have had the opportunity of going on Mission Trips to another state and even another country. I have watched youth grow from being in the youngest group to now being JCITs, from being participants to being Site Assistants, from being teens to being Site Directors.
This year I experienced the power of unity that is encompassed within the walls of St. Stephen’s. In previous years I have worked for B-SAFE at their Epiphany location, this year is my first time working at St. Stephen’s. At any given moment people are walking into the building seeking help or to simply say hi. Since being here in September I have seen numerous faces, some more than others. What I love about this program is that even when you move on from this program you can always rest assured knowing that St. Stephen’s will always welcome you with open doors. Individuals who have been part of our program find comfort in knowing that there is always a friendly and familiar face when they walk through our front door. Previous teens, now young adults, come in seek help with their college work and/or prep, sometimes they simply stop by because they would rather be here than at home.
By Sandy Quispe, St. Stephen's LEARN Site Director
Sandy, born in Peru, has lived in Dorchester since the age of 5. She attended Boston Arts Academy where, during a job fair, she came across St. Stephens Youth Programs. She worked as a teen for an academic year and two summers before taking on the role of lead counselor for St. Stephen's summer enrichment program, B-SAFE. She attained her bachelor's in psychology from University of Massachusetts Amherst. Working with children has always been one of her passions. She loves to see how children grow and develop from early childhood to adolescence.