- Chaurice McMillan
- Roxbury, MA
What brought you to YPP? In the beginning of this school year, I learned about a program called the Boston Literacy Partnership. I applied and began volunteering. Every Monday, a group from my school would travel over to a school in Boston and we would each work with one student. My guidance counselor, Kara Lopez, noticed that I had joined the program. Kara then informed me about a program where I would be able to help more than one student, and work with them everyday.
What have you learned from YPP?
I learned how important debriefing is to maintaining a solid team. I've never had to meet everyday at the end of work before. When we talk to each other about our experiences each day, we benefit in many different ways. We get to learn about each other, get different perspectives on our thoughts, and share ideas about things we can do with the students.
What can you do now that you could not do before?
I've become more persistent working with YPP. When the children do not like the activity we have prepared or do not want to participate, I don't give up. I understand that the activities we play are about more than just having fun. The games we play should build up the skills so when they answer their classrooms, they feel comfortable. When a student isn't playing because they think the game is too hard, instead of yelling or giving up, I help them solve their problems.
What are some marketable skills you’ve been taught and how have you applied them in school and at work? I've become more self aware while working at YPP. I've always tried to put myself in others shoes and think about how my actions will affect the future. Now I'm able to see the bigger picture and realize that the role that I have in these children's lives will affect them in the future. If I'm invested in my job and prepare for the activities that I want to do, the children will get more out of them. The skills they learn can be used in their classrooms which will improve their grades and confidence.
What do you enjoy most about YPP?
YPP improves the younger students in the schools that my peers and I work in, as well as helping us improve ourselves. Both groups get to learn skills that will help us in the future. I learn from every experience I have, but I haven't worked at a job that focused on bettering me as a person. The more skills I gain and the more I learn, the more I can pass on to the students that I work with.
Overall... my experience at YPP has been great. I’d never heard about YPP before but once I did, I thought it was an amazing idea. It's nice to build the students up and think about how my school career would be different if I had a program like YPP working at my school. Everyone in my classes learned math the same way unless they had a tutor. If I had YPP with my growing up, I would've enjoyed math more.