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A young lady brings singing and laughter to our Crisis Program

One of the things I love the most about my job is discovering how talented the youth that stay here in Covenant House are. Each of them have their own unique talents. Some are amazing artists and brighten up the space with their quirky, beautiful work. For others their talents lie in writing and they compose amazing poetry and stories and plays.

A few month ago, there was a girl staying with us who loved to play the ukulele! She had the most beautiful voice and listening to her sing was really moving. Great talents to have for sure, but this girl’s real talent was that she had a real flair for bringing talents out of others. She would sit in the common space on our Crisis Program and play her ukulele. Soon there would be three or four other girls around her singing along and then asking her to teach them. She was a really great teacher and inspired some of the other youth and staff, myself included to learn the ukulele! She had a great encouraging energy and made everyone feel like they could play just as well as her.

Some youth were like me, starting from scratch having never picked up a musical instrument before, but she happily and patiently went through all the chords with us and her little impromptu classes were always great fun and such a positive experience for everyone. Other youth had played a little when they were younger, and they were inspired to pick up the instrument of their choice and jam along with her. Suddenly our donated guitars were in hot demand!

I remember walking in to the common space one evening to find everyone sitting in one big group around the table having the best sing along ever! Usually they will separate off into little groups, some watching the tv, some on the computers etc. But that night they were all sitting together having just a whale of a time, singing. Those who could play, had their guitars and ukuleles out, others were tapping the beat out with their hands on the table, someone was even having a go at playing the spoons! Everyone was singing and more importantly, everyone was smiling and laughing. It struck me that this girl not only had the talent of helping others recognize their own talents, she also had a talent for inclusion, for bringing people together and making everyone feel like they belonged.

Not long after this she moved out to her own housing. This had been a goal of hers since she arrived. Even though she was greatly missed by all the youth but they had all seen how hard she had worked when she was here in Covenant House to make it a reality. She still calls from time to time to check in and let us know how she is doing. She’s happy in her new place and life is good she tells us, and of course she is still playing the ukulele!

Shared by Julie, Youth Worker Crisis Program