Youth Forward Scholarship Summer 2017 – Volunteering with the Inner City Youth in My HomeTown

Name: Jennifer Ridley
From: Oakland , California
Grade: freshman in college
School: St.Marys College of California
Votes: 0

Not a lot children in inner city neighborhoods have the same
opportunities and privileges that others do. School districts in
these areas, do not provide students with quality resources, that
they need in order to have a successful education. Going along with
that, the parents of these underprivileged students either don’t
have the funds to get them the help they need or won’t do it at
all. People who have the ability to help these kids who want to learn
or realize their love for learning , should be obligated to offer
what they can whether it be money or their time. Growing up in the
city that I live in, the city I call home Oakland California, I have
seen this or heard a lot about this occurring in my city. Seeing this
so much while growing up in oakland it inspired me to want to help
out somehow . So I started volunteering my time to tutor
underprivileged youth in East Oakland, at Boys 2 Men Girls 2 Women
Youth Development program.

As I mentioned before, I’ve seen and heard about the lack of educational
support that a lot of kids all over Oakland mostly the east have to
deal with. What led me to start volunteering with this youth
organization, was during my time in Highschool it was part of their
curriculum for us to do some type of volunteering ,in the city that
we lived in with marginalized people. Whether it be old people in
retirement homes, adults, and children with some sort of disability,
or underprivileged kids. I choose to work with the underprivileged
kids because it was something close to my heart , seeing all these
children that didn’t have the support and privilege of quality
teachers, tutors, and parents that I was so lucky to have. Thinking
about this on a daily basis, motivated me to go in this direction of
Volunteering. Through my high school, I discovered the program Boys 2
Men Girls 2 Women Youth Development. During the time that I
volunteered with this program, I did about 58 hours within a two
month period, for the summer of 2013. When volunteering with this
youth development program, I was a tutor/teacher for them, from early
morning to mid afternoon I taught kids from the ages of 3-13 yr olds.
On subjects such as, language arts, writing, math, and I had them
recite the Beatitudes; because the people who ran the program also
ran a church.

When volunteering with this program there were some ups and downs, which
is given when working with children. The biggest challenge
volunteering with that youth development program was, at times
getting other students to stop picking on each other because one them
was a slower learner. This was difficult at times because I would
have to stop I was doing in order to handle the situation, and even
though that was difficult at times I took that as a learning
experience not just for them but for me as well. However, there was a
lot thing that brought me satisfaction while volunteering with that
program. One of them being the look on the kid’s faces when what they
learned finally clicked in their brain. Brought me so much joy,
because it showed me that what I was teaching them actually got
through to them. That’s one of the best things about working with
kids, seeing that happiness on their faces when they finally
understand what they’re learning it gives them hope.

Lastly, I learned a lot of things from volunteering with this youth
development program, such as, patience . Patience is key because
nothing in life happens exactly how you want it and things take the
time because it’s a process. Another thing, I learned from this is to
be grateful for the support that I have from parents, teachers, and
more, because not everyone has the privilege of having that, which
means that have to struggle more than I. Overall, this experience
helped me grow up and start my way to become strong independent
women.


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