This past Tuesday, I was afforded the opportunity to accompany the Health and life skills coordinator at the Douglas unit. I was intimidated at first because I am used to working only at one location and working with “my kids” so I really didn’t know what to expect. The Douglas unit is in an extremely impoverished area on the north side. But from the moment I entered the building until the time I left, I felt nothing but love from everyone. We ran a SMART Girls program where we got a chance to talk about hygeine and the girls made lotion. The conversation was not only informative but also quite hilarious. Talking to girls ages 9-11 about their periods, body odors and the infamous “v-word” can be quite the task. The girls warmed up to me immediately and it was so amazing to spend time with them and be able to feel like I am apart of something larger than myself. I truly believe that the information that was given to them that day is something that will stick with them forever and ultimately help them when they least expect it. What I am realizing more and more through the experiences at the boys and girls club is that it doesnt matter what the actual facility looks like, what the staff looks like or even the kids; what matters most is that effective programming is taking place that allows the next generation to grow. I can’t wait for next week!!
Hello my name is Traci Burton. I am a offically a Senior here at Western Michigan University!!! *ques trumpets* My major is Film, Video and Media studies with a double minor in Non-profit leadership and Gender and Women’s studies. All three of those things seem slightly unrelated but each of them embody who I am and what I would like to contribute to this world. Ultimately I want to change the world. Through television and media, I plan to spread the love of God through inspirational content. I want to eventually own a non-profit and change the funding policies for urban school districts. These are all long term goals; as of right now I am working for the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Kalamazoo as the summer arts academy drama instructor. This has been both a rewarding and trying summer as I learned so much about the politics of non-profits. I will detail these experiences on this blog and hopefully have a chance to look back and appreciate all I’ve gained.