Daisy - MCC Youth Development Program Participant

Celebrating #LightsOnAfterschool

To celebrate #LightsOnAfterschool and the amazing impact that out-of-school time programming has on young people and communities we want to share one story from MCC youth program alumni Daisy who we are incredibly proud of and thankful for! #AfterschoolWorks

When Daisy began coming to MCC’s youth programming at Kosciuszko Community Center she was 9 years old. Her mother enrolled her in YDP’s summer camp to give her an active summer while she worked full-time and attended school at night. In Daisy’s words she joined so she wouldn’t “become a couch potato”. Daisy would end up attending summer camp for many years, with her younger twin brothers joining her.

When Daisy was 14, she was asked if she would be interested in being a camp counselor helping to care for younger kids. She spent the next several summers and parts of her school years working in the YDP program, gradually taking on more leadership roles. At the same time she participated in MCC’s teen groups and hands-on arts programming. One summer with a staff person having departed, MCC was without a liaison supporting a partners literacy work with first and second grade students. Out of all the adult staff, the program manager immediately chose Daisy as the “perfect fit” and she co-led literacy programming alongside folks with decades of experience for the rest of the summer. The result? The kids and partner ended the summer raving about Daisy’s leadership and ability to communicate with and support the children in the class. Its one is a series of opportunities Daisy would make the most of.

Fast forward to 2020 and you can find Daisy serving in the National Guard, setting up and running COVID-19 testing sites while she pursues her Bachelors degree from UW-Milwaukee with a major in Biomedical Sciences and minor in Spanish. Asked what role being involved in MCC had in her pathway Daisy says, “Being involved with MCC definitely helped me strengthen my ability to work well with others in a team environment. And working with children and planning activities throughout the day helped strengthen my ability to take on a leadership role.” Our youth programming’s ultimate goal is to support young people on pathways of educational, career and civic success. That starts with relationships, with sharing community with one another. As Daisy puts it, “MCC taught me to deeply love a community that needs more heart to heal its wounds.”

Since 2000, Lights On Afterschool has been celebrated nationwide to call attention to the importance of afterschool programs for America’s children, families and communities. Learn more here

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