Together with our coaches, I asked the Paterson YouthCares team members to share what they have enjoyed the most, or something that stood out so far, about being a Next Generation Community Leader. Here is what they said.
Paterson YouthCares has proven to be a rewarding experience for us. We have earned the opportunity to work with other youth who live in our city who we might not otherwise know. Everyone is interested in fixing the issues that are impacting our community. As members of this program, we are developing leadership skills such as teamwork and communication. We are working together to find solutions for our community. We also are forming connections with our mentors and project director, who help us work more effectively as a team and are a support for us when we need it. We have learned about logic models and how to use them for our project. Through our team meetings, we have met several community partners who represent programs and services available in Paterson and other communities, who taught us about the community health issues in New Jersey. We would not have known about some of these issues and their impact on our community if we weren’t a part of the YouthCares team. One issue we all seem to care about is food security in Paterson. We are excited to research how we will be able to help our community gain access to healthier food options. We’re having fun on this YouthCares team and we look forward to launching our project this summer.