Youth Jobs Rally, an Intern’s Perspective
At Youth Academy we have been seeking for volunteers and interns to help us grow and develop our program. We wanted to give you the opportunity to meet some of them through their experiences here at Youth Academy. Our intern Dean, wrote this beautiful piece about his experience during our participation in the Youth Jobs Rally in Boston this past Friday.
Youth Jobs Rally, an Intern’s Perspective
Our students, here at Youth Academy, commendably volunteered yesterday to participate in the Youth Jobs Rally in Boston. It was an important and memorable day for both our students at Youth Academy but also for the entire youth of Boston and Massachusetts that are in search of jobs. This spoke to many of our students and it is so impressive that they took time out of their “precious” vacation to arrive early at the Worcester Youth Center ready for a long day of fighting for a cause they all believed in and felt so passionately about. We piled into the Dynamy van with our leader Andy LaPointe at the helm and the wonderful Stacie Brimmage at his side as we began our journey to the heart of Boston where the Rally was to be held. There seemed to be an electricity in the van on the way there. The music was turned up and all of our students were excited and dancing and singing along. The excitement remained as we discussed the exciting and important day to come. The students were intent on making positive changes to our society as well as showing pride for being from and representing the city of Worcester.
All the participants of the rally first met up at a local cathedral to gather and discuss the plans for the day ahead. The addition to the overall message at the rally this year was that there was an extra emphasis placed on eliminating youth criminalization in Massachusetts youth through more jobs being created for them to stay away from negative distractions. We were treated to inspiring speeches as well as a young 15 year old up and coming rapper who performed and freestyled about the importance of youth employment and making positive changes in our society by not allowing our youth to feel as if they have to resort to criminal activity. After these presentations, each community that was being represented at the Rally was called out in the Cathedral and prompted to make noise for themselves. As no surprise, we were so well represented and all the students from Worcester unleashed a booming roar when Worcester was called out. The pride on the faces of the students was clear and powerful to see.
After these festivities we finally headed outside into the chilly Boston air to begin our walk through the streets. We were immediately greeted by cameras coming from every which way as well as many interested civilians wondering what the meaning of our rally was. Our students raised the wonderful posters that they had made themselves in the days prior above their heads to show everyone just what was so important and why the issue of creating youth jobs needs to be taken so seriously. As we continued walking with so many others through the streets of Boston, numbness to the cold began to take effect as the primary focus became participating the chants of the rally and showing our posters to anyone who would take notice. As usual, Andy did not seem affected by the cold weather as he was excitedly partaking in the Rally alongside the students and pumping everyone up right from the beginning. As the passionate rally approached the steps of the Massachusetts House of Representatives building, our students began preparing some persuasive words to use to remind our personal Worcester representative to put an increased emphasis in the youth jobs initiative in our Worcester area. Unfortunately, due to Representative Mahoney’s busy schedule, we were not able to meet with him personally. On the positive side, we were able to meet with his incredibly receptive and friendly aid. Many of our students spoke to him about exact budget numbers that they would like to be changed, and many spoke straight from the heart about personal experiences of family or friends struggling with finding meaningful jobs and how beneficial they believe it would be to increase the jobs available for capable and hard-working youth in the area of Worcester specifically. Representative Mahoney’s aid assured us that our message would be relayed and that the initiative of increasing youth jobs is an issue Representative Mahoney takes very seriously and also feels passionate about. After completing our discussion, we met back with the rest of the youth representing Worcester and socialized with them for a few minutes as well as taking a group picture to commemorate the day we spent together fighting for a just cause. Finally, we returned back to the van for the long ride home. Everyone was a little tired from the energy-filled day they had just experienced, but there was a clear unspoken look of accomplishment on everyone’s faces for the very productive day that they had such a large part in. Overall, it was a very positive day once again for Dynamy’s Youth Academy. We were so happy for our students as they handled everything with such maturity and professionalism throughout; yet another reminder of how lucky and inspiring it is to be in the presence of such wonderful youth who are determined to make the most of the very bright futures that lie ahead of them.