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March 26, 2014

Working at SFBFS' Youth Education Program

Working at Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services (SFBFS) has been a great experience for me. I have gained so many skills in such a short amount of time. My journey with SFBFS began with me becoming a volunteer in the Food program. I needed to fulfill group service hours for a class I was taking and we decided as a group that SFBFS would be perfect. The organization's mission was so meaningful and the main goal was to help those in need, so my group and I decided this would be the best place to give back.

We decided to volunteer in the Food program simply because that was what SFBFS was known for and there wasn't a wait time to volunteer in the food program. We started bagging food items on Friday mornings which was a pleasant experience for us because everyone was so friendly. Later, I attended a couple amazing food distributions which felt nothing like a typical distribution. I could not remember seeing or hearing about such a distribution that was so upbeat and allowed the clients to forget they were at an actual food giveaway. In that moment, I knew Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services was an organization I would be more than glad to work for if the opportunity ever arose.

Several months later one of my counselors at school presented me with an off-campus job opportunity. I had been searching for a job for quite some time so I decide to go ahead and apply regardless of the position. To my surprise it was a position at Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services, exactly where I said I wanted to be! Within two weeks of applying and going through the interview process I was hired and began on my birthday. It has now been over a year and I must say I am still happy to wake up and go to work each day. I actually look forward to interacting with the youth and getting to know them, as well as their families.

The Youth Education program has three separate components: Playcare Academy, After School Academy and Computer Clubhouse. I work in the After School Academy with youth in grades 1 - 6 that need extra homework support, one-on-one tutoring, or just something to do after school. I am the After School Academy Assistant and help with the organizing and planning of the day-to-day operations of the program. I supervise the youth, as well as wonderful volunteers who make it possible to provide the different services we are able to offer. We are always finding new ways to better serve the youth in the community and I really enjoy it. I look forward for to continuing to be a part of such an amazing organization now and in the years to come. 

Submitted by Krystal Harnell, Youth Education Program Assistant at Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services. 

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