Volunteers go beyond the call of duty
Volunteers play a critical role in making a difference in the lives of our teens. During the 15th Annual Philly Teen Conference volunteers went beyond the call of duty by displaying an inspiring level of dedication and compassion.
Many of our youth often feel that adults simply do not care about their circumstances and more feel that many will never attempt to help them in any way. Vision of Youth Center Founder Tiffany Allen said “some people believe the teens in Philadelphia do not want to be helped and would not attend a conference that educates and inspires them”. The efforts that started over fourteen years ago have helped prove that assertion wrong. Volunteers are a major reason the Philly teen conference has proven successful.
The 15th Annual Teen Conference held on Saturday, May 20th, 2017 at Temple University’s Howard Gittis Student Center hosted volunteers between the ages of 12 and 60 who turned out to make our annual event impactful. “It was beautifully organized! I was impressed” stated Fran McAdams Health Care Technology Teacher/Pathway Coordinator at Abraham Lincoln High School.”
Professionals from all backgrounds including staff from University of Penn, recent graduates from Community College of Philadelphia and Drexel University students created a crew that helped registration run smoothly checking in all attending teens. Volunteers from 59th Street Baptist Church set up shop in the hallways to provide directions to class rooms and break out sessions and Temple University students provided support . T-shirts were sorted, decorations were displayed, gifts were handed out, food was served, pictures were taken, just to name a few of the critical things our volunteers helped with.
“What I saw of the program was great and I was so happy to have been there. Serving lunch was a lot of fun and I could tell the teens were feeling happy.” – Becky Leferve, Leadership Live and Student Engagement Director Jefferson University
The teen conference was a large event composed of volunteers from many smaller projects and events that had taken place throughout the year with YSI. Many of our volunteers routinely visit our teen shelter, provide workshops at different programs, make consistent financial contributions and provide needed in kind donations as well. It was amazing to hear feedback from volunteers about how inspired they were to do more moving forward. Many volunteers were touched by the stories shared from our youth, embraced the heartbreak from hearing the trials many face and were motivated by the perseverance displayed. It was powerful to know we not only made a difference in the lives of our youth but also in the lives of the leaders dedicated towards making a difference.
Our volunteers also set up resource and information tables creating an opportunity for youth to grow. These tables included information about internships, employment, education options, teen programs, youth organizations, financial information and more. Tabling volunteers included The Advocate Center for Culture and Education, Vision Of Youth Center, Fair Housing Rights, Succor Inc. and Foster Care Alumni.
“Just wanted to say thanks for the opportunity. Just remember that you have made a difference in my life and for that I am grateful. Everyone’s passion is so inspiring that one can’t help but want to continue the movement.” – Kristen Sullivan, Community College of Philadelphia, LEADS program President.
We greatly appreciate the dedication shown from our volunteers. You are the reason the 15th Annual Philly Teen Conference was such a great success.
(image courtesy of Donnell Wallace Photography)