YCorps Spotlight: Genevieve Kalland
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 seven-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. The YCorps do a lot to further our mission, so we want to celebrate their skills and stories on our blog in a five-part spotlight Q&A series. Our first YCorps member in the spotlight is Genevieve Kalland.
How did you learn of Youth Frontiers?
When I was in ninth grade at Valley View Middle School, YF led a Respect Retreat for my class. It was the best thing that could have happened to my class that year. I still remember it vividly and I can assure you, I will never forget it.
What’s your favorite part of facilitating retreats?
My favorite part about working for Youth Frontiers has to do with the people I get to work with every single day. Whether it’s YF staff, teachers, high school leaders or students on the retreats, they all bring life to the program and also to me as an individual.
What’s something that surprised you about the job?
What surprised me about retreats is that even though we do pretty much the same thing every day all year, each day still feels completely new, exciting and totally different than the day before.
What is a favorite retreat story of yours?
There are many moving and special moments that have stuck out to me in my short time at YF, but I have to say that the moment that gets me every day, without a doubt, is watching hundreds of fifth or seventh graders sing their hearts out to the “Y.M.C.A.” It’s pure joy. There’s nothing else quite like it.
What are you learning at Youth Frontiers that you will take with you after your YCorps commitment ends?
People really are amazing. We need to take the time to smile, crack a joke and meet people where they’re at.
Also, I love YF.
This week’s Character Challenge was about finding the good in the world. Where do you see goodness?
There is so much good in each of the students we see each day. They are all worth the time and care we put into retreats and they all can make their communities and themselves better, simply by believing in and by unleashing that good that’s already there.
Thank you, Genevieve, for all that you have contributed to the YF team and for helping us accomplish our mission.