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I’m a Young Mom and…

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10 Volunteer Opportunities in #Boston for Young People

Interested in giving back to your community? Volunteering a few hours here and there is an awesome way to help others while you build some awesome experience to add to your resume. Here are some current opportunities in Boston for young people…

  1. Teens in Print: Ever dreamed of seeing your name in print? Join the staff of Boston’s citywide youth newspaper, Teens in Print. This is a volunteer position open to BPS high school students that could lead to a paid position next summer. Meetings are twice a week at The Boston Globe and have FREE food! ric.kahn.jcs@cityofboston.gov, 617-541-2651
  2. Project D.E.E.P One-on-One Tutoring Program: Project DEEP is looking for high school tutors to volunteer for their One-on-One Tutoring Program. Volunteer mentors will help Dorchester elementary school students with their homework once a week for 90 minutes after school starting in Nov and ending in Apr. Beth, beth@projectdeep.org, www.projectdeep.org
  3. Food Project: On Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, youth ages 17+ for individuals and 14+ for groups can volunteer at the West Cottage Street Farm in Dorchester from 9:30am-12:30pm. Must pre-register online: www.thefoodproject.org, 617-442-1322
  4. Brigham & Women’s Hospital: BWH volunteers assist staff in many departments throughout the hospital, such as the BWH Gift Shop, Patient & Family Relations, Outpatient Infusion, and Pathology. Must be 16 years of age to become a BWH volunteer. A commitment of at least six months of service is required. www.brighamandwomens.org/about_bwh/volunteer/General%20Volunteers.aspx
  5. Beth Israel Deaconess Center: The Health Corps Program offers high school students ages 14+ the chance to volunteer in clinical and non-clinical settings during the summer and school year. A minimum of 40 hrs needed. 6-12 month commitment and two recommendation letters are required. www.bidmc.org/AboutBIDMC/VolunteerServices.aspx
  6. Boston Blooms with Daffodils: Join Mayor Menino as the city plants 40,000 daffodil bulbs along Boston’s sidewalks, traffic medians, and paths. The Parks & Recreation Department is seeking volunteers to assist with planting and suggestions for locations. Plantings will take place on the weekends of Oct 19 & Oct 26. Registration: www.cityofboston.gov/parks/Daffodil_Signup/Default.aspx
  7. theMOVE Farm: theMOVE organizes farm-volunteer workdays for urban groups across Metro Boston. Trips take place thru Oct and head from program sites to farms in Boston or the North or South Shore. 617-922-8428, www.getoutma.org
  8. Farmers’ Market: Roslindale Village is in need of volunteers at their Saturday farmers’ markets. Volunteers can help with the following tasks: music set-up, setup and management of children’s entertainment area, EBT/SNAP assistants, parking lot monitors/counters, and breakdown. Ben, rvmsfarmersmarket@gmail.com, www.roslindale.net
  9. Samariteens: Samariteens is looking for teens ages 15-18 interested in volunteering to listen to other teens on the Helpline. The line is dedicated to the prevention of suicide among teens and providing confidential peer support to teens who are struggling with feelings of depression, loneliness, and stress. www.samaritanshope.org/teen-helpline.html
  10. Boston Cares: Make a difference in your community by volunteering! Register with Boston Cares, and you’ll become a part of the many service projects that advocate for community enrichment, health & wellness, homelessness/hunger, environment and more! www.bostoncares.org

And if you need more resources on how to get a job, build a resume, or prepare for your career, check out these resources:

Teen Resume Guide: Create a resume to be able to share with potential job, internship, or volunteer leads. This guide includes a variety of formats samples, tips on how to tell your story, and great action words to describe your work and volunteer experience.  www.cityofboston.gov/youthzone/JobsInternshipsAndVolunteering

Job Tips for Teens: A job or an internship can provide you with new skills and a chance to investigate careers you may be interested in pursuing. This guide includes advice for young job seekers in Boston and resources to help you in your search. www.cityofboston.gov/youthzone/JobsInternshipsAndVolunteering

My Dad was Violent with Me

(submitted anonymously)

I grew up in a Latin home. My family was very blessed because at 7 years old we got to come to the U.S. Here I got to live with my dad for the first time. My dad would hit my sister and me a lot it was pretty normal for us. Until he got really abusive with me. He was very strict so were rarely let out with friends or even family.

I now have my two year old boy he has so much energy and he can drive me a little crazy sometimes. Due to the fact that my dad was violent with me I realize that he transferred that bad energy to me. Sometimes I feel like I want to hit my son and it makes me angry to even think for a second of hurting the little guy I love the most. From the first moment I realized those thoughts I got some therapy. My family doesn’t believe in therapy and I’m not sure how I truly feel about it either all I know is that I’ll do anything to keep myself from ever hurting my little one. I believe that as a parent we should be the ones protecting our children. Hitting can really affect a child not only physically but mentally and most important emotionally.

I remember being a quite straight A student I ended up failing and being suspended all the time for fighting once my father starting hitting me. I also realized that I looked for someone to approve of me and the first person that did was the father of my son. My dad never gave me the talk and I believe that’s also part of the discipline that my husband and I have to give our child. We are doing a lot of things differently with my son. We take him out, we try not to scream at him so much, we talk to him to let him know that we are here to protect him and love him. We tell him we love him hug him every minute we can. We kiss him all the time. My dad never did that for me.

My husband and I want to be different, we are trying to take the good from our parents and leave the bad things behind. My dad wasn’t a great father but he is the best granddaddy. I think that the most important thing for me now is that my son grows up in a loving family where he is never scared to talk to me. I want him to be polite and humble to do what he believes in life. I want my son to have a chance to succeed. I believe the first step into doing that is through effective parenting and lots of love.

Reliving Bad Memories

As a child I had many good experiences with my parents, and the same amount of bad ones as well. We all try to raise and grow up with our kids without having to relive or experience those bad experiences we had with our parents but in all reality it will never be picture perfect.

While raising my child I have definitely relived bad memories I wish he did not have to. One of those bad memories is the fighting between his father and I. My parents always fought in front of me as a child and I grew up thinking it was okay. Now I don’t think twice to start or continue an argument with his father in front of him. I am really working on changing that but it’s a process changing what you grew up with as a kid.

Another bad memory being relived for my son is the separation of parents. My parents were never together while I was growing up and ended up getting a divorce. I absolutely hate the fact my son as of now does not physically have both of us around but I need what is best for myself in able to be mentally healthy and stable for my son.

We all want the best for our children, and want them to grow up with the least conflicts that can possibly happen but it will not always be that way. It is not a bad thing to relive these memories with my son because at the end of the day I know my parents love me and my son is very loves by his father and I. Sometimes I just wish things were different. :/

Monkey see, Monkey Won’t Do!

(submitted anonymously) 

When I was growing up, I always felt as if I had to be the mature one. I always had to look out for my sisters and brothers. My father not always being around caused me to be more independent. I figured that I had to prove myself to him. I wanted him and my mom to be proud. My mother was very dependent on my step dad and by the time I was a teenager, I vowed to never be like that.

All of these factors caused me to feel like I had to grow up fast. One thing that I for my son, is for him to be a child and enjoy it. I don’t ever want him to feel as if he’s being forced to grow up to soon. Indepence is great, however, a child is a child. When the time comes for him to become an adult than I would trust that we taught him everything he needs to know. I would never want home to go through the process of having to figure out how to be a grown up.

There are are many things I want my son to do in life, but rushing to grow up isn’t one of them.

Disappointed

When I was a little, I was a daddy’s little girl. My dad was my life! There was not one day when I did not talk about my father. In my eyes he could do no wrong. But the funny thing is that my dad was not around as much as he should have. I would see him 3-6 times a year When we would speak on the phone he would promise my brother and I that he would spend the day with us on Sunday so when Sunday would come around I would wake up early, get dressed, and wait for him. I would always be in such a great mood until the hours passed and I realized he was not coming or when he would call and say he couldn’t make it. I would sit there crying for hours until I fell asleep. When I was older I knew I wanted better for my children but that was just a random thought I had.

It was difficult for me to picture myself with kids especially at a young age but who knew I would get pregnant by my fathers exact replica!!! After my son was born his father would make a lot of promises about coming and seeing our son on a weekly basis. Some times he would some times he wouldn’t. But there was this one time when we had made plans to go to his family’s house and I was very excited that I would spend time with his family .That day I took the car seat from my mom’s car and I got my son ready and I waited patiently for him to come. After hours he called me and gave me the dumbest excuse for why he could not make it. I sat there on the phone crying and yelling at him. He just listened calmly as I yelled at him and told him how tired I was of hearing the same excuse over and over again just like I use to yell at my dad when I was younger. I was faced with reality that my son would have the same experience as I did with my dad. I just cried and prayed that my son would one day understand that it wasnt his fault.

There isn’t a day when I don’t think about what I’m going to tell my son about his father. I worry that he will blame me or himself for his dad not being around like he should. But I hope that with time I can learn to forgive myself for choosing that man to be his father and I hope that when the time comes when he ask about his father that I remain clam and know exactly what to say.

Back-to-School Chat Tomorrow!

Flyer - Sept 9

I Didn’t Think Fun Existed

(submitted anonymously)

My parents are old style. My parents being old style is not something that I like. Both my mother and father views to how modern I am are nowhere near good. I am very different from my parents. We have different views on almost everything. I want to change how my parents raised me. I do not want my child to be raised the way I was raised. It’s not because their way of raising me was bad, I turned out to be a pretty awesome, smart, young lady (thank to my parents). BUT I do not want to have my child believe and have to be the child I was in certain ways.

Here is why:
My parents made me grow up to believe that fun does not exist. The only things that exist in my life were books, school, and teachers. They nailed in me that school was important. I don’t believe there’s anything bad about it, but I want my child to be a lively child who is able to balance both school and a social life. My whole entire high school years I only attended to two parties. The only two parties I convinced my parents to let me attend. I did not last long in either of the parties. I also was picked up and dropped off from both parties.

My parents parented me with the rule that “the parent is always right” (I hated this rule, my life existed of rules!) This ruled worked this way: My parents could tell me the sky is green, I had to agree with it even if I knew the sky was blue. I could never win a battle or defend myself from any arguments. My parents would be always right. It was hard for me to voice my opinion to anything my parents would say.

My parents raised me to believe that I was less than them. I had to speak in a proper way. I could never speak to them as if I were speaking to a friend. This is because in their cultures older people were more mature and should be always treated with respect. My family speaks Spanish and in the Spanish language there is proper you and other words. If I was ever to slip up and talk to my parents without mentioning the right term, way, or phrase it would backfire me. Not talking to the in the proper way was a big disrespect. My parents were the authority. My parents made me feel as if I was less than them.

The way I grew up was because of the way my parents were taught. I can’t be mad at them for raising me the way they did. How can you be mad at someone who doesn’t know any other way? I just know that I do not believe in their ways. I want my daughter to be able to approach me with confidence, something I couldn’t. I don’t want my daughter to feel lesser than me. I want her to be a lively child. I don’t want my daughter to be stuck to books 24/7. I want her to be social, to learn how to be around others. I believe that I am modernized because I am creating a change for my child. A change that will improve both her life and mine.