Sasha Bruce

I began to enjoy talking and participating in community events such as planting trees at Richardson Dwellings neighborhood complex, Global Youth Service Day, and a town hall meeting with Mayor Gray.

Before joining Youthled I was just a senior in high school searching for jobs with no work skills or resume. I also lacked the community service hours I needed to graduate. Instead of trying to figure out ways to get my hours, most of my days after school were spent smoking with my friends or in the house sleeping.

When I first heard about the Sasha Bruce Youthwork program, Youthled, I was told there would be a lot of talking about youth organizing and community problems. I wasn’t very comfortable with these concepts since I was a shy person. However, after a few weeks of getting to know my coworkers and understanding the program; I began to enjoy talking and participating in community events such as planting trees at the Richardson Dwellings neighborhood complex, Global Youth Service Day, and a town hall meeting with Mayor Gray. Through my participation in these events, I gained public speaking skills, community service hours and organizing skills.

Youthled also opened my eyes to new ways of making money and being healthy. I was provided with an eight-week business class for entrepenurship and introduced to gardening. At first I thought gardening was simple and easy until I actually worked in the garden at Bruce House and found it takes a lot of work and dedication to keep up a garden. Working in the garden taught me new healthy-living skills. After a while, the idea of making a business selling plants from the garden was discussed and put into effect. We started out selling plants in front of Bruce House and then decided to broaden the business by selling the plants at Big Bear Cafe. We started making a decent profit! The experience and knowledge I gained provided me with work skills, the ability to start my own garden and teach others about gardening.

Last, Youthled opened my eyes even more when I participated in the Black; Asian; and Latino dialog. I got the chance to talk and share experiences with youth of different ethnicities. I found out that they aren’t that different from me or the average teenager. This experience made me realize that stereotypes are not true and that I shouldn’t judge people by the way they look or were they’re from. Furthermore I’m grateful to have joined Youthled because now I’m very open to learning and trying new things and I have a different way of thinking about solutions for the problems in life and the community.