YCorps Spotlight: Daley Rupar
We are so grateful for our wonderful staff at Youth Frontiers (YF), from our full-time and part-time employees to our YCorps. The Youth Frontiers YCorps (Youth Corps) is a five-month internship program that gives emerging leaders the opportunity to facilitate, along with our full-time staff, life-changing retreats for schools all over the upper Midwest. As our current YCorps’ time with Youth Frontiers ends after the winter holidays, we wanted to celebrate their skills and stories on our blog as a six-part spotlight Q&A series. Our first YCorps in the spotlight is Daley Rupar.
How did you learn about Youth Frontiers’ YCorps?
I met Joe Cavanaugh at Tennis and Life Camps one summer and really connected with him and his family. I learned that Joe was the Founder & CEO of a really cool nonprofit organization, Youth Frontiers. Last year, on a whim, I researched the organization further, and I loved everything I read. I identified with their mission: to partner with schools to build communities where students thrive socially, emotionally and academically. I think it’s so important to stress the positive characteristics that Youth Frontiers focuses on! I knew then that I had to get involved. I love being up on my feet and interacting with people, so helping facilitate retreats seemed like a perfect job for me. As a YCorps member, YF gives me the opportunity to connect with many new people from school staff to students, while also spreading a message I feel very passionate about.
What’s your favorite part of the job?
My favorite part of the job is watching the retreats at work. When students engage with the day, the atmosphere of the room changes; it becomes a positive, safe space for all involved. There are times that I am truly amazed that one day can have such an impact on the students and the school.
What surprised you most about the retreats?
At the end of each retreat, we give the students an opportunity to get up in front of their friends and fellow students and share what positive changes they want to make in their school and in themselves. I’m constantly surprised and inspired by the incredible, deep things that students say at the end of the day.
What is your favorite mission moment from the retreats?
On one of my recent retreats, two students that seemed really unexcited to be there continually talked over us and made fun of the process the whole day. I was extremely discouraged by their behavior until the final sharing circle when one of them shared first. He said that the retreat helped him realize that he needed to be more respectful. That moment showed me the impact Youth Frontiers can have on students.
What are you learning at Youth Frontiers that you will take with you after your YCorps commitment ends?
The most important new skill that I will carry with me forever is the ability to talk in front of large crowds with ease. I have always battled stage fright, and presenting to students on retreat helped me become comfortable and confident when speaking in front of people. Being a part of the YCorps has given me the courage to grow beyond the limits I had set for myself.
Thank you, Daley, for all that you have contributed to the YF team and for helping keep our mission in motion. We look forward to seeing what you do next!