I joined Generation SERVE's Youth Leadership Program at the end of 9th grade. After my first year in high school, I was tired and all I wanted to do was hang out with my friends and rest. Having to wake up in the morning to go to a training didn’t sound particularly appealing to me, especially considering it was summer. Coming into it, I didn’t know what to expect and I was nervous on the first day of teen lead training.
My first time entering the Generation SERVE building, I was greeted by very friendly staff members and older teen helpers, who played icebreaker games with us which facilitated a rise in comfort level among most of the kids. It took no time at all for me to loosen up and begin enjoying my experience, and it was all because of the staff and teen helpers at Generation SERVE. They shared their enthusiasm with me and the other for volunteering and helping our community.
This summer, I have been helping the teen leads and co-leads in the very same program I came into, except now I am the one who is in charge of creating a comfortable and fun environment for training. Being able to be a role model and knowing that you are giving back to the community is very rewarding and brightens my day.
Even on my first day this summer as a teen lead and co-lead trainer, I had some butterflies in my stomach. But, once again, the atmosphere of Generation SERVE was welcoming and I got into the groove of things without trouble. When the kids first came in, they were all very shy and quiet, which was expected, but they got over it within the day. I found it kind of easy to train these kids because, while they may have low attention spans and difficulty focusing on a long presentation, I was in their position not that long ago. I can relate to them and I know what improvements and little changes I can make to engage the teens and make it an enjoyable experience for all of us.
Sebastian (bottom) with fellow teen leads at Whole Foods Kids Club in 2018.
Sebastian leading a team building activity with teens this summer.