Being a new staff member I was feeling quite nervous coming in to work with a large group of youth who have had a lot of different experiences, some incredibly hard. I thought they may have a lot of distrust for a new staff member and I was hesitant at first to really put myself out there. With the encouragement of a fellow youth worker, I decided to take a risk and start a new initiative. Every night when the youth gather together before bedtime I started asking what the best part of their day was. At first it took the youth by surprise but soon after they started to enjoy sharing. It became a little glimpse into the joy that they had each experienced during the day despite what they are going through.
Of course there are nights when some youth have had a bad day and want to "pass" but often after everyone else has said their piece, they would open up and share something small that happened during the day. Whether it was "I watched a funny video" or "I got to see a good friend today", they always manage to find some little joy in every day. The idea has caught on so well that I have youth come up to me after I have been away for a few days and say "the other team forgot to ask what the best part of our day was so we reminded them and made them do it!" It's incredible that through all of their trials and tribulations, each youth is enthusiastic to share their happiness every night and support each other through each of their successes. - Jenna, Youth Worker