“How many summers have you been a part of B-SAFE? Two, five, ten, fifteen, twenty?” This is a question I have been asked many times by parents, staff, partners, teens and young people over the past eight summers. As my final summer comes to a close I’ve been thinking about what first brought me to B-SAFE and what kept me coming back.
What brought me here is simple. I needed a job for the summer of 2009. I started as a Site Director at St. Augustine & St. Martin. I continued as a Site Director at St. Mary’s in 2010 and 2011. I have spent the past 5 summers as Program Administrator supporting multiple sites and most recently the entire registration process for all of B-SAFE’s many, amazing programs.
For the first few years I returned because of the connections I made with the young people and their families at my sites. As I took on a new role I found that the behind the scenes work I was doing helped to make things a bit easier for the staff. So, I kept going. I took on more responsibilities and worked to try and make things more streamlined and organized for everyone.
It wasn’t always easy but it felt great to know that I was helping the people I worked with. This is when I realized that what drove me to return to B-SAFE had changed. I was doing it for the staff. If it was possible for me to make things easier and less stressful for them I wanted to do it. The staff became what made me keep going when I was exhausted, what got me out of bed at 3 am to work on registration and what brought me back again and again.
I have experienced a lot of ups and downs during my eight years at B-SAFE. I have made amazing friends who have become my family. We have cried together from frustration, exhaustion and grief. But more than anything we have laughed together. I have seem my son Maxwell grow up and go from an 8 year old at St. Stephen’s LEARN who didn’t know anyone to a CIT at Epiphany LEARN who often knows more about B-SAFE than I do. I feel incredibly lucky as a parent to see how the staff at St. Stephen’s Youth Programs have embraced him, supported him and helped shape him into the person he is today.
I am saying good bye to my time at B-SAFE but I’ll still be around. If you can’t remember something that happened over the past 8 years chances are I will. Even though I won’t be there anymore my drive to help make things easier for the staff of B-SAFE always will be. I hope that by supporting and appreciating the staff I have made it easier for them to support the young people and the families that they serve.
By Jodi Rich, Registrar
This is Jodi’s eighth summer with B-SAFE. During the school year she is Executive Director of the Dragonfly After School Program in Cambridge.