Everything I’ve experienced at CV has prepared me to go back to my community . . .

At the beginning of last year, I found myself regularly being in a bad environment, doing things that a 17-year-old shouldn’t be involved in. It was then I had to be removed from that situation and came to The Children’s Village. Despite the challenges, I chased opportunities for personal growth and took advantage of those presented at CV. It became a choice between watching life pass me by or actively bettering myself and my circumstances. Starting by saving up for my future.

When I first arrived on campus my peers told me about possible job opportunities through the WAY Works program. With the help of the staff, I completed my first-ever job application and secured a position in the Greenhouse and the Canine Rescue and Rehabilitation program at the Dog Kennel. The Greenhouse appealed to me due to my father’s passion for gardening back home. It reminded me of him, and under Mr. O’s guidance, I learned how to harvest different plants and maintain larger ones across the campus.

Working at the Kennel intrigued me, considering I never had a pet but always held a love for animals. Spending time with rescue dogs and learning how to train them for adoption was an amazing experience. On my first day, both dogs joyfully tackled me to the ground, I realized then this was a positive environment for me. I even got to be a part of preparing to open a new grooming station that will be open to the public!

My life was starting to get really interesting in a positive way.

Encouraged by a staff member, I applied for an internship at The Children’s Village. I was able to work closely with CV’s Executive Assistant to the President and CEO, the Director of Communications, and the Equity and Special Projects Director. I learned things like how to send a professional email, proofread documents, and help set up events.

Two weeks after my internship started, one of my supervisors helped me get an interview at our local Chipotle. Due to my interview practice from my campus jobs and internship, I was able to land the job. Everything I’ve experienced at CV has prepared me to go back to my community and has shown me that the stuff I was doing before I came to CV is not the stuff I want to be doing when I get back. After I leave CV, I plan on furthering my work experience with a full-time job or exploring getting a college degree. I’m now really excited about what the future holds!

Yashua is a resident of The Children’s Village Dobbs Ferry Campus- a residential facility for young people who need a temporary place to go. Our campus recreation department runs WAY Works sites designed to give young people real work experiences, certifications, and ways to explore their interests.

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