BYLINE: Traciana Barnes, B-SAFE Teen Staff Manager
This summer with B-SAFE was nothing short of amazing! This was my second summer as a Teen Staff Manager with B-SAFE. Being able to work so closely with the teens and youth participants and getting to watch their growth was an honor. For me, it is fulfilling to help teens with their professional growth. For many of them, working with B-SAFE is their first job, so they are learning for the first time the importance of early impressions and putting their best foot forward.
For the past six weeks, I had the pleasure of working directly with the teens who were based at two sites: St. Mary’s in Uphams Corner, Dorchester and St. Augustine and Martin in Lower Roxbury. Our teen staff trainings helped give the teens valuable skills for B-SAFE, for the work world, and for life. For professional skills, trainings focused on setting goals and then making a realistic plan to achieve those goals. For life skills, many of the trainings added to the confidence teens already have so that they can be great public leaders. For B-SAFE, trainings focused on youth worker skills, such as how to help youth really see details on field trips, which made all the field trips a great learning experience for teens and youth alike.
One specific field trip where I saw young people and teens learning something new was at Farrington Farm in Lincoln. This long-time partner of B-SAFE also hires teens who lead workshops on farm animals and their life cycle, take youth on hikes in the pine groves, and teach craft sessions in which youth can make art using natural materials. At Farrington, the young people and teens learned about the importance of nature preservation. For many of our youth, this was new information and sparked their curiosity because most of them live in the city. For the teens, they experienced teaching and learning outside the classroom, which added to their abilities as youth workers and was directly related to trainings they had received. As a result, a fun day out on the farm became a classroom and laboratory of learning for everyone.
Traciana Barnes is returning for her second summer with B-SAFE as a Teen Staff Manager and this summer will be supervising two teams of teen CITs, one at St. Mary's and one at St. Augustine and St. Martin. Traciana graduated from Curry College with a Bachelor's degree in Communications and she recently received her Master's degree in Education. Traciana currently works in the Boston Public Schools as an Applied Behavior Analyst (ABA), supporting students with autism.