This week, thousands of Americans across the country will participate in AmeriCorps Week, the annual celebration of the more than 1.1 million AmeriCorps members who have pledged to “get things done” for America. Youth Focus is so proud of our AmeriCorps Intern, Maddie! Not only is Maddie an amazing young lady and Tar Heel, but she is also dedicated to ending homelessness in the Triad. Maddie has been working diligently at My Sister Susan’s House with our young moms in a weekly group session. Every week Maddie works to help our moms achieve their goals, like getting a GED, employment, and housing. She goes above and beyond to make her group sessions fun by letting the young ladies take turns picking what they want to cook.
Every year, 75,000 AmeriCorps members serve through more than 20,000 schools, nonprofits, and community and faith-based organizations across the country. They also tutor and mentor young people, connect veterans to jobs, care for seniors, reduce crime and revive cities, help fight the opioid epidemic, and meet other critical needs. Thank you to AmeriCorps and Maddie!
Let’s learn more about Maddie!
1. What is your favorite memory from Youth Focus?
Getting to witness the moms at My Sister Susan’s House be present in their children’s lives. It’s the smaller, day to day moments that have been my favorite; getting to be a part of a child’s first birthday party, helping a mom put her child in a high chair and a baby walker for the first time, the sweet and loving looks that the moms give their babies. I love being part of an organization that keeps mom and baby together and fosters healthy development in a safe space for both the mom and the child.
2. What is one thing you wish the general public knew about Youth Focus?
I wish the general public had more awareness about youth homelessness in general. The population of youth experiencing homelessness is a huge issue that deserves more resources to help all of the youth who reach out for help. Youth Focus bursts at its seams with dedicated, hard-working staff who work tirelessly every day to make positive impacts in the lives of the youth they serve.
3. Who has influenced you most when it comes to how you approach your work?
All of the staff that I work with at My Sister Susan’s House have gifted me with the knowledge and experience from which I learn and grow every day. Their support and guidance have meant the world to me.
4. What led you to Youth Focus and working with young adults?
I have always known that I wanted to be in a helping profession. A year and a half ago, I took the leap and enrolled in a Masters in Social Work Program. I was lucky enough to fulfill my MSW internship with Youth Focus through my AmeriCorps position!
5. What are three words to describe Youth Focus?
Dedicated, compassionate, caring.
6. What advice would you give to your teenage self?
It’s all about perspective. Be grateful always!
7. If you were stuck on an island, what three things would you bring?
My husband, my dog, and Thai food.
8. What’s your most-used emoji?