Three summers ago I was a senior counselor for the Mission Hill Summer Program. When I signed up for a summer, I just believed was going to give me the opportunity to teach in a classroom, but I left with a second family. I never imagined how much 6-year-olds could teach me: from Emmanuel to running up to me from a block away excited for camp to Alaysia being able to write full sentences by the end of the summer. I loved it all. These kids look to you for comfort, support, and guidance. Although we are only college students, fostering a safe space for these children is extremely powerful. After this summer, I began to see myself using my experiences with my kids in all of my classes in college and feeling the need to come back. My family came from a low-income community, and I’ll never forget the impact that my mentors had on me because programs like SUP are the reason I am in college today.
This summer I was the Summer Program Group Officer where I oversee the summer program along side Kate Johnsen as my staff support person. I feel so lucky to be able to see how the new director team developed an incredible summer for the kids. Directors are responsible for hiring the senior counselors, junior counselors, setting up field trips, writing grants, managing a budget, and camper registration. I have never met such an inspiring group of college students. My favorite part of my role is seeing how creative, bold and determined this director group is. This community of directors can have up to 30 hour a week work load, but I have yet to see any of them lose any motivation. SUP is not just a summer program, it is a family and I cant imagine not being apart of it.