To College and Beyond...
On March 19th, ten wonderful individuals volunteered to participate in our third Big Brothers Big Sisters' Youth Development Program. This time, we went to the Brooklyn International High School to speak with high school seniors about life at college and beyond. It was very humbling speaking with all of these enlightened students. Almost all the students were from another country and didn't have English as their first language. However, that didn't stop these kids from getting ahead. The program at the school is incredible and helps the students achieve their dreams.
As always, it was a great experience but don't take my word for it. Here are some feedbacks from our Marketing Coordinator, Meredith & our Web Developer, Joe:
Joe: My expectations that it would be a lot more formal than it was and that many students would be more apathetic to our presence -- for that reason I felt nervous. It actually turned out to be the opposite and nearly all of the students were incredibly enthusiastic and grateful. The best part of the program for me was the diversity of the student I had the opportunity to talk to. I loved hearing about their interests and what they believed the future held for them. I learned a lot from how motivated the kids were and I believe a lot of that stems from the conditions and experiences many of them had growing up.
Two students interested in [web] programming approached me as the rest of the students left. They told me they were disappointed that I didn't get around to their table; they had a lot of questions to ask.
Meredith: I was so surprised by the number of kids who were tentative about going away from home next year, given that all of these kids have already left home to come to the US. I reminded them that they've already done the hard part, and that the fun part is finding yourself and enjoying your own independence. Towards the end of the sessions though, I was talking to a bunch of kids and asking where they all want to be next year. One by one they all said they wanted to stay in New York because they didn't want to go away. When I got to the last girl she said "No way! I want to go to Santa Barbara, it's WAY too cold here!"
Seeing the kids' excitement about their futures reminded me to be excited about what I've still got ahead of me, even though college is over and I've started a career. It was refreshing to see high schoolers who were so forward-thinking. I tried to teach the kids about keeping an open mind to new experiences, that resumes should be kept to ONE page, and that there's nothing like getting jobs/internships while in college to both boost your resume and help you figure out what you love/don't love doing.
Thank you Big Brothers Big Sisters for giving the opportunity to help out!
Read about our other collaborations with BBBS: