Our reflection for the week comes from Katelyn Gojevic, a junior accounting major!
Describe the mission of the organization: YouthAbility is one of the many programs that the Jewish Family Service Association of Cleveland offers. YouthAbility helps young people with disabilities engage with their community and improve their self-esteem. Whether it be through volunteer work, learning trips, or projects like putting on a play, YouthAbility works to help these individuals succeed. YouthAbility Book Club in particular is a year-round project where they read and discuss books together. This inspires creativity and helps them think critically about the world around them. Ultimately, YouthAbility wants the best for these young adults, no matter their disability level. What values, opinions, beliefs have changed as a result of your experience? Going into service, I had a tendency of assuming that the other book club members would always need my help. I also thought it would be hard to keep their attention and engage with them when we’re reading. But I wish I hadn’t made so many assumptions about what they can and cannot do. After 3 weeks of service, I’ve found that most are strong readers that not only understand the book we are reading but make connections to the book and their own lives. Now, I don’t gauge their abilities as much. And because of that, it makes it that much easier to connect and spend time with them. What is one way in which you’ve allowed yourself to be changed as a result of your experience? The members of YouthAbility Book Club have humbled me and reminded me that I’m not perfect. Normally, I’d call myself a patient person. But this doesn’t mean I always am. I hate to admit it, but there was a time when one of the students was reading and I was getting impatient with her. I was surprised; I thought I was a patient person. After that, I had to take a step back and realize that she has every right to go at her own pace. I also had to acknowledge that I’m not without faults and flaws.
Favorite Quote: “Spread love everywhere you go…let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier.” - St. Mother Theresa