Monday, August 26, 2013

From Homeless to Helping the Homeless

This year as part of the One City Summer Initiative the Children and Youth Investment Trust Corp. (the Trust) employed over 20 Young Adult Coordinators (YACs) as part of its target area strategy. These YACs were deployed throughout communities across the District to work directly with residents old and young to better connect them to the resources being offered by various District agencies. DCAYA was fortunate enough to get two of the YACs to blog about their experience this summer. The following post is from Kadeem Swenson who worked as a YAC at the DC General Shelter. 

This summer I had the amazing opportunity to be a community leader with the Children Youth Investment Trust Corporation . My placement as a Young Adult Coordinator with the Trust was at DC General Shelter. My job there was to provide resources to the community and let them know that there are people out there who want to help them. A lot of people in DC don’t know this.

In my situation I was a homeless youth so helping them really meant something to me. I was the only YAC assigned to DC General so, an average day for me was a lot of running around. A lot of people at DC General had lost all hope and hit rock bottom. For some of them, success meant getting all you could from the government or making money doing something illegal. That’s why I worked really hard this summer to make sure the people at DC General had all the resources I could offer them.

While I was at the shelter, I talked to families (both parents and kids) about college and how they could prepare for it. A lot of families did not know much about this. I also worked with organizations such as UDC, DC Public Library, Georgetown Medical Bus and the Department of Homeland Security to come and do outreach and assist shelter residents with completing resumes and applications for jobs. I know the people at DC General needed all the help they could get, but I hope my work there really helped out. I really enjoyed my summer at DC General and am proud to be the first person in the position. Hopefully my work there made a pathway for the next person that tries to help out.

Kadeem is currently in New York at Brooklyn College studying International Business. He really enjoyed working with the Trust this past summer and will continue helping people and promoting positive change in his local communities. Click here to watch a video about Kadeem created by the non-profit College Bound. 

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