Only eight years ago, I was almost held back in seventh grade. When I looked in the bathroom mirror back then, I saw a kid who was lonely, worthless, ugly, and fat. I couldn’t connect with anyone, and bullies made every day at school miserable.
Today, the words I use to describe myself are confident, smart, funny, and capable. I am doing well in my college classes, I was recently promoted at my job, and I have many friends and family who care about me.
For me and so many others, the difference was becoming a youth leader at Hyde Square Task Force. They hired me as a literacy tutor, but it turned out to be so much more. It was a transformative experience that connected me with my community and pushed me to take leadership roles.
I tutored children at the local elementary school; acted in, wrote, and directed plays; and mobilized teens across the city to stand up for their rights. Through teaching younger kids I suddenly had purpose. As I saw the positive effects of my actions on the world around me, my confidence grew. I found courage. I stood up.
Making a difference is a lifelong pursuit-now I’m thinking about law school to follow my sociology degree. I’m one example of a young person whose life has changed because of HSTF. There are hundreds more like me.
Please donate to Hyde Square Task Force today. Every donation you give goes directly to ensuring that youth are challenged, supported, and encouraged.
You can make a difference in our lives.
HSTF Alumnus, UMass Boston Class of 2017