The Day I Realized My Passion

September 24, 2013
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Every day before I left my boss always said the world is your playground and don’t you ever forget it. The best part of my daily routine is work and yes, many high school students don’t look forward to work, but I do and it’s because I have the best job anyone could ask for. I work at an after school program with kids and being able to be around them is the highlight of my day. It is the part of the day that I get to be as creative, care-free, and silly as the child I was. This after school program is the reason I’m the person I am today. I attended the same after school program when I was a child and it has become a part of me; it has become my second home.

My boss and mentor, Ron Heath, was always the person who was there for me and my family. He provided me with extra support as I grew up. When I was old enough to work I was ecstatic, but I had no idea what I was in for. The first day on the job, I was under the assumption that I would just play all day long as I had done in my childhood. That day wasn’t what I expected, but learned that I am responsible for the well-being my kids, I have to be the example that the kids follow, and the key to a successful day is balance. I feel like if I didn’t go through this my life very different right now as I apply for college.

On the first day I learned the most important thing. At first I was scared to be alone with kids because I finally understood that I am responsible for their well-being. Even though I had other staff with me, I still knew in the back of my mind that I would be alone with these kids later on. That day, a girl named Lily fell on the concrete and scraped her entire knee. I felt horrible because she was in pain, but my co-worker and I took her inside, cleaned her up, and fixed her leg. I realized that in time I can be the person to make the kids feel better on my own. With my first mistake of day, I realized that I had some learning to do for this job, and the only way to do that was to go through it.

A significant thing I learned was that I am the example for the kids and that they do what I do. My first day we went to the playground and played a game called sand is poison. In this game you cannot tough the ground. I made the mistake of climbing on the outside of the railing that was high off the ground and one of the other kids did it with me. When the game was over I had a talk with my boss; he explained that the kids look up to me more than ever now, and that I need to be the good example for them to follow. I then understood that he was right; in order to succeed in my job I needed to be the role model that the kids could confide in and admire.

Another essential thing I learned was that key to doing this job is balance. I thought that this job would be a piece of cake and I was wrong. I learned that I had to be the person that the kids looked up to and that I also had to be the creative thinker to keep them entertained and busy. When I first started I had to run games in the gym. I mostly stuck to the simple games that I knew, but after a while they became very bored. I recognized at this point I had to be creative so I came up with a game on the spot called musical hoops. All the kids loved it and still beg me to play it today. The best way I learned is by going through it and it’s made into a better more responsible adult. This job taught me how to balance being responsible and being silly.

Even though my first day was a struggle, by the end of the day I knew this what my passion is and to this day it has not changed. It was not easy learning the ropes and I been through many mistakes, but I have learned from those mistakes and I’m a better person because of it. This is what I want to do for the rest of my life. I want to be the reason a child is smiling, to be the person to provide a child with a great day every day, and to be the person to make the kids feel better. My dad told me that if you love what you do, you never work a day in your life. I hope that one day I can say that he was right.

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