When I started my co-op search I was expecting to get a mundane office job with a few responsibilities and a lot of alone time with the copy machine…and then I met Wallace Johnson and Ken Still.
As I walked up to White Stadium, I thought they had sent me to the wrong building. What kind of office could be run through an old stadium in the middle of Jamaican Plains? After meeting everyone in the office and having a 1 on 2 interview with both Ken and Wallace, I wondered if I could actually see myself working in a place like this. I liked the idea of working with the kids in Boston through sport, since I had been involved in sports all my life, and I wanted to make a difference in the community I was now living in. The only thing that I was worried about was if my job would be too overwhelming, since there are only 5 full time staff at the BPS Athletic Department.
Despite all these uncertainties, I accepted the job over winter break and went in for my first day on January 3rd. On that first day, Wallace walked me through all of the responsibilities I would have at the office and mentioned in passing that I would have to go to this place called Sport in Society on these certain days. Having never heard of Sport in Society before I was confused as to why I had to go meet at this place. As far as I knew, I had accepted a position at BPS athletics and had no other companies to report to.
Walking into Belvedere on my first day going to SPort in Society I had no idea what to expect. All of the other co op’s had interviewed together and knew they were going to be working together. I had no idea what their co op’s were or if they were even similar to mine.
At our first meeting, Caitlin went over all these procedures at the YMCA and which site each co op would be working at. As I sat there listening to all this, I thought there was no point to me being there since none of this really applied to me. I soon realized how valuable Sport and Society would be.
Ever since that first day at BPS, I have come a long way in doing what I hope to accomplish. I want to be able to get BPSA on board with the website and eventually get 100% of coaches to use the website. This will take some time, but leaving behind a handbook for the next co op and meeting with them on a bi weekly basis will give he or she the reassurance they need. Without SIS and the other co ops to motivate me and give me constructive criticism, I would be lost at BPS and have no idea what to hope to accomplish. I could not have asked for a more exciting and fulfilling co ops I could have asked for.
I do not understand how it is already March 9th. Our time at Sport in Society has flown by incredibly and overwhelmingly fast. We have all accomplished so much since I last posted.
I have enjoyed these last few weeks even more than I could imagine. I must say though, there was one day in particular that was extremely memorable for me. It was a Wednesday and I was heading into the Egleston Square YMCA. My boss told me I was going to take one of the youths to the Dorchester YMCA for an event that he was going to be participating in.
When the boy I would be taking to Dorchester arrived at Egleston, we met and we headed to the bus together. We instantly bonded. We spent the rest of the day together and played basketball, ate pizza, and talked. I was surprised at how I could so easily connect with somebody so different in all aspects. I want to work with youth when I get older, so I hope I never lose this ability to connect with them .
Another memorable day was when Charlie and I went to the Human Sexuality training. It was very interesting and even though it made us both a bit squeamish, we learned a lot. These two events are just examples of the unique and enlightening experiences that have come out of working at Sport in Society.
On a day by day note, at the Egleston Teen Center we have been working on outreach for the Junior Pathways SAT Program that started this past Tuesday. We had around 30 kids come to the first class, which was good, but we wanted at least 35. Hopefully as the classes continue, more kids will show up. The SAT class is a really great opportunity for these kids who may not be able to afford the really expensive SAT programs like Kaplan, but still get prior training before the May 5th SAT.
I am currently working on my action plan and we are all seeming to be getting more and more comfortable with our various YMCA’s and each other. Everyone has exciting plans and goals and it will be so great to see how everything turns out. Every day it seems like something different is happening and I love that so much. With the double dutch tournaments and many other exciting events coming up, the next few months will continue to be amazing and enriching.
By: Jessy Segall
As February came to a close this past week, so did the two month mark for our co-op as, sadly, only a few more months at Sport in Society remain.
While it seems like time just flew by, we’ve been able to get an immense amount of work done so far with big plans to finish out the last two-thirds of the semester. Having had so many great experiences working at the YMCAs and volunteering on various levels, I honestly can say that I am very excited for the coming months.
Already, the other co-ops and myself have started to get the ball rolling at our various YMCAs as we collectively look to enhance and create a harmonious and open environment for teens during our time there. Personally, I’ve been working at the Wang and the West Roxbury YMCA, aiding in any capacity that I can.
While the majority of my time has been spent creating a teen job training program at the Wang as well as helping the West Roxbury YMCA establish its teen programming, the most memorable moments have to be my direct service with the teens. Getting to know them and seeing what good people they are has been an added motivation to really turn things up a notch when working at the Y.
One moment that stands out happened just the other day while I was in West Roxbury. Supervising the open gym time for the teens, we got to get to know them a lot better and see how nice and good hearted they actually were – a stark contrast from the horror stories that adult members complained about. All these kids want is just a little attention and a positive environment, something that the teen director, staff and I are actively trying to foster.
Since we started to interact more with the teens, the staff and others have started to notice their improved behavior, a tell tale sign that what we’re doing is working. As we start to implement teen specific programs and get them more involved, I expect even better communication between the staff and the teens as well as an overall more pleasant environment.
As the last few months approach, I hope to keep the energy up and get even more positive work done. I also plan to cherish each day on the job as the end always comes sooner than expected.