I Can Mess Up, But I’m Strong

by Tyreek Page

During my junior year of high school I was attending the Brooklyn College Community Partnership and earned an internship working with kids at Center For Family Life (CFL), on Mondays and Wednesdays. I also participated in an Anti-Discrimination Clinic on May 17th and edited other students’ final reflections for their internship on June 19th.

During the time I interned at CFL, I was assigned to make sure the children that attend the neighborhood center sign a sheet to show that they were present that day. On Monday middle school and high school students came and played basketball, and they had to sign a sheet, and each sheet was specifically made for each age group. Another responsibility that was asked for was to help the elementary school students with their homework and make sure it was complete.

In my opinion CFL needs new staff approaches to help stop issues between the student sbetter. Most of what happens goes unheard of because students choose not to be called a “ snitch “, which is a term that people call people when they tell a authority figure a problem that is taking place. During my internship at CFL I learned how to communicate with children, and I became comfortable with the children. As time passed on I grew a friendship with five of the kids at CFL. One of them is in elementary school and four are in middle school. The student that is in elementary school is named Ethen and the four other students were Alisha, Nichole, Javier and Jose. I made a friendship with Ethen before I started at CFL because I knew his brother and whenever he was in trouble I always went to speak with him and made sure he was good, also I told him ways to not fight all the time. When I met Alisha, Javier, Nichole and Jose, I clicked with them, every time we saw each other we would make jokes and when there was basketball on Wednesdays I would play with the boys. The way I started making friends with the girls was when they would ask me for help with their homework and I would always joke around with the people around me and they found me funny.

Another place where I was a intern at was an anti-discrimination clinic that took place at Brooklyn College. We spoke about discrimination against mainly homosexual people and transgender people. In my opinion I didn’t like that the person running the clinic barely spoke about other discrimination issues. But, also, in my opinion he did do a good job with some of the activities, but I do wish that he would have talked about different types of discrimination more.

During the time that I was editing other students’ final reflections I learned these students have big dreams and  hopefully very big futures ahead of them.

Throughout this entire internship and throughout the BCCP program during this school year, I learned to always have patience with people, self restraint, and to think about how other people would feel if they were treated by me a certain way. During this school year there have been issues in the program where I lost my temper and I didn’t have patience to deal with people that aggravated me. Also during my internship there were things that got under my skin. But, I worked to keep my cool.

From doing these internships I realized that you only have one life and there are challenges that may seem unbearable but it is truly easy as long as you take your time and associate yourself with the right people. The reason why I say this is because I have a temper issue and kids and the level of my patience don’t match, but I still took the challenge and I ended up liking kids. As I stood around the kids from CFL, I’ve grown to have a better tolerance and a better understanding about how kids think and how to work with them.

The one thing that I learned about myself is that at times I can be a mess and mess up a lot; but, I come back stronger and I develop once I encounter a difficult task. I am thinking about becoming a security guard for school safety or having a career that involves me teaching kids because kids’ minds can be easily influenced and fall into the wrong state of mind, and it is the job of an educator or a parent to stop kids from becoming something they’re not — like a criminal — but have a successful life. My plan now is to get an Associate’s and then a Bachelor’s and then maybe a higher degree — so my little sister can see that she can do better, and so that I can get a job where they will respect what I know.