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Working With Kids At The Y This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Working with kids at the Y

by C. C., Leominster, MA

I have done community service at the Y. Here I worked with many children from single and/or low-income families. Many had experienced large doses of mental and emotional abuse. They had been put down and were made fun of by their parents, whom they looked up to. Some of them were even sexually abused by their parents or the boyfriends or girlfriends of their parents.

When I started, I didn't know that I would be dealing with people like this. I was in shock, to say the least. These people were not children, but adults, in many ways. Their experiences had made them very mature, and they didn't want to participate in the planned activities. They spoke their minds, and were not ashamed to tell us no or that we weren't their parents and they didn't have to listen to us. It was hard at first to get them to cooperate, but I had a lot of patience and everything worked out.

I formed many bonds with these children and wouldn't want any harm to ever happen to them. Grown-ups need to realize that these children need help, but most of all they just need someone to care about them, someone to love them. These are not bad kids; rather, we need to think of them as a babies who need to be taught from square one. They need attention because they lack it at home. They do not need to be yelled at, but instead to be shown the right way something should be done.

Once people start to realize this, these children may have a chance in society. Adults have already planted seeds of failure in these young minds and we all need to pull together to remove these seeds and plant seeds of success. When a child knows s/he has succeeded, s/he will begin to feel good about him/herself which is a big step in the right direction.

This is not a hard thing to do; it's just takes a lot of time and most all a lot of patience. Just give them a chance, you never know you just might fall in love with one, or more, just like I did.


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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