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The DREAM Blog

2023 Summer Member Highlight: Nevaeh Robinson

Nevaeh is a junior at Temple, majoring in Sociology with a minor in Human Development and Community Engagement. She loves education and learning! In her free time Nevaeh enjoys reading and journaling, doing her own nails, cooking for friends, singing, and photography. 

Summer 2023 Wrapped: 

Nevaeh served the Spring Garden site in Philly with 3 other Summer Enrichment Coordinators - this was Spring Garden’s first DREAM Summer! Their group size varied each day, usually between 6-11 kids, but they had 12 total youth enrolled. 

What was the highlight of your service?

I have been an AmeriCorps member before for another organization, and similarly to that organization I love the genuine process of meeting the kids who are coming to camp and starting to get to know them. I enjoy amplifying their interests and giving them something to look forward to. I study food insecurity in school, so showing up to their neighborhood making sure that there was food to eat for the day and providing options for them to fill their bellies was definitely a highlight for me. I think it’s impactful when there is an adult who cares about what’s going into their bodies! Something we were always working on was teaching boundaries and personal space. It was nice to help the kids learn and also share more about myself to continue the connection with the kids. 

What were the challenges you experienced?

Spring Garden was a new site in Philly this summer, and so at the beginning of the summer it took time to build the site partner’s awareness of the purpose and intention of the program. At first the space wasn’t well kept up or very clean (on the partner’s behalf), and there wasn’t a ton of outside green space in the community which sometimes made program planning a challenge. 

On the first day of programming, we had a small number of kids join when we had planned activities to split into groups. On days when there was a small group who attended, we had to shift what we were doing to think about programming in a different way to ensure that we were delivering meaningful activities and making space for kids to get their energy out! 

Our team was pretty good about not letting the kids know when something wasn’t going to plan - it was important for us to find the balance of being honest, but also not necessarily needing to make the youth aware of things that might impact their experience in a negative way. 

In general, working in an underserved community and running programs with youth means that there is a push and pull of resources and knowing that things may not always go to plan - but doing what we could with what we had was a skill we learned throughout the summer! 

Are there any notable or special moments you want to share?

All of the adventures we went on! Those made space for the kids to be carefree and take time to just be kids. Our group showed up on site every day and got rewarded by going to the lake, rock climbing, going to the museum of illusions, and more. Many of our kids were family or close friends, and those types of things aren’t always affordable for big groups to go together, so it was impactful for them to be able to make memories and have experiences together as a group. I think the kids could tell that a lot went into planning those activities, and our team was very thoughtful and intentional about the youth’s preferences when making those plans. 

We also created a partnership with the 8th Street pool, we went there weekly and it was an awesome partnership - the kids had so much fun! 

How would you describe your DREAM experience in a phrase or a few words?

Impactful, growth-mindset, collaborative, and fun!

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