Staff Reflections

IMG_4516“Searching for a fun and rewarding way to spend my college summer break and intrigued by the opportunity to engage with social justice issues through volunteering at a variety of organizations, share my knowledge and passion with youth, and explore Philadelphia, I applied to work with the Youth Initiative. My summer with the YI fulfilled all I was looking for and provided me with more opportunities than ever anticipated, such as to grow as a leader, explore and challenge my faith, discern my future career path and calling, learn about nonprofit operations, and develop lasting friendships. Anyone with a passion for social justice and faith and possessing a desire to lead youth in the exploration of these topics should consider applying to work with the Youth Initiative.” —Sarah L, 2014, 2015

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“I feel like I have grown so much this summer…I am way more comfortable in my own skin because of BSM. Everyone here celebrates being different, and just accepts you for who you are. And because of the culture of BSM, I feel like I have become less judgmental, and more down-to-earth. This experience has really added another dimension to my heart and opened up a passion for ending homelessness, poverty and hunger that I never knew I had. I have so many ideas that I want to take back with me to school that are just brewing in my mind. All I have to do is sit down and organize them into something great. I have BSM to thank inspiring the ideas that are brewing, and equipping me with the resources and knowledge to not organize them into something great. I am so excited to share what I’ve learned from this place!” —Aubree, 2015

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“My personal growth is beyond words. I learn a lot about how to interact with teens when it comes to issues that plague our society. Coming in, I knew how to to explain the things philosophically but this summer I learn how to break it down in reality. I also grew spiritually by being challenged on the things I grew up knowing and believing. My professional growth growth was in the area of working with kids by learning that am their friend not parent.” — Chadwick, 2015

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“I have genuinely LOVED this experience. Seriously, I cannot imagine doing anything this summer that would have fulfilled me more. My boss and my team gave me the support and kindness I need to take risks (navigating SEPTA, selling newspapers to strangers, talking about taboos like race and trans issues). I have learned about Philly – but more than that, a longing to learn more about this city and other American cities has been instilled in my, and I feel that BSM is the most perfect launching pad for my future in the non-profit world.” — Sarah M, 2015
“I feel like I have gained so much experience in actually meeting and knowing the communities we intend to serve, as well as skills in teaching, leading, prayer and reflection, and having civil discussion with those I do not agree with.” —Sara P, 2017

“I’ve grown in every possible way this summer. Everything that matters in life can be summed up in a relational connection over a meal at Breaking Bread. I’ve never seen myself as playing such a crucial role in creating a more just and loving world until this summer experience. I carry with me all the people I’ve met and served; they will inform every decision I make when I go home. I’m going to start by engaging more in my hometown, familiarizing myself with the available services and stories of my neighborhood, and then share stories of this life-changing experience with my friends and family. This job has made the concept of “heaven on earth” come alive to me. I have a lot to learn still, and BSM has given me a broadened definition of what it means to love thy neighbor as thyself.” —Rachel P, 2017

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