The blog this week was written by Dalanna Hoskins, a Community Broker at The Arcadia Institute. It is very hard for me to write blogs for the Arcadia Institute, because I enjoy doing the work of our mission and our goals without seeming like we are tooting our own horn. However it is rewarding to discuss the success of our youth and it is necessary for people to see and know what we have been doing.
So far I work with seven students and out of the seven students, five are currently volunteering or are in the process of starting to volunteer. Two of our students are with the Animal Rescue Project on Peekstock. Both of these young ladies have expressed that they enjoy working with animals. One of our young ladies has completed orientation and volunteers her time every Wednesday, walking dogs. The other student is in the process of applying for a volunteer opportunity, however we come in every Tuesday to spend time with cats that are waiting for adoption.
I work with another young lady who we finished having her MAP (Making Action Plans) completed. Through her MAP process and by me getting to know her, we have found that she enjoys working with children. After inquiring with three day cares in the city of Kalamazoo, we came across the Kalamazoo Drop in Child Care Center located on West Michigan Ave. Beth Walters who is currently the Volunteer Coordinator was so kind and knowledgeable and took my student right in. So far she comes in every Friday from 1:30 pm until they close at 3:30 pm and enjoys every minute of it.
I have a young man who is in the process of applying to volunteer at the Kalamazoo Nature Center and we will be working on getting him acclimated to using Metro County Connect as a way of providing transportation. His family is great to work with and does a great job working with me to do what we can to keep him connected to his community.
These are a few examples of minor success stories that touch only the tip of the ice burg. These organizations are creating great opportunities for our young people. I can sense that when they are volunteering their time, they are doing something that they enjoy and is a rewarding time in their day. This also gives them the skills for possible employment in the future, and familiarizes them to their surroundings, and give others the opportunity to get to know them. This creates the sense of inclusion and community that Arcadia Institute strives to create in Kalamazoo County.