Every year in B-SAFE, teens who are between 15-18 years old work alongside the adult staff as mentors to the younger participants. Teen Counselors-in-Training help elementary and middle school age participants make friends, create art, do creative writing, learn to do a lay-up, resolve conflict, and stay safe on field trips. Teen Organizers design and implement curriculum that teach others about power, civics, and community organizing skills. Teen Facilities Coordinators keep the classroom spaces sparkling clean and ready for youth learning to happen. Our B-SAFE Program would not be possible without the time, efforts, and skills of the teen staff.
This summer at B-SAFE at St. Augustine and St. Martin, we have some super amazing teen staff members. (We hear this is true at other sites, too, but we know we have the best teens!) Our teens are always willing to step up to the plate; they often take on a leadership position and act as the captain of their team.
One of the teens at St. Augustine and St. Martin even has a special title: Super CIT. Christian Aguilar, our Super CIT, is always ready to pitch in. In the first week, Christian had to serve as a Substitute Lead Counselor for several days when our Lead Counselor sprained her ankle. Christian regularly checks in with Leads to be sure they have the support they need with participants; he fills in any gaps. Just today, Christian came in off the bench and served as a Teaching Specialist for one of the rotation blocks. Another teen MVP is Robert Peguero. Even he time in his shift is up, he stays to volunteer wherever he is most needed. Like the other teens, Robert always goes above expectations, proves he is a hard worker, and is ready for the B-SAFE Hall of Fame.
All of these teens --nearly 170 of them--are employed, earning a paycheck and having meaningful responsibilities. The jobs help teens build professional skills and a sense of purpose. B-SAFE is grateful for all the organizations and funders that help to make these summer jobs possible, including YEE (Youth Engagement and Employment and Opportunities of the City of Boston), YOU (Youth Options Unlimited of Boston's Workforce Development), My Summer in the City of The Boston Foundation, and the Youth Employment Initiative of the Chelsea Collaborative.
By Dayanara Abreu, Site Assistant for B-SAFE at St. Augustine & St. Martin
Dayanara Abreu began her career as a CIT with St. Stephen's Youth Programs. She now works in an advanced leadership role as the Site Assistant for B-SAFE at St. Augustine and St. Martin.