YCorps Spotlight: Traiveon Dunlap
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 final YCorps member in the spotlight is Traiveon Dunlap.
How did you learn of Youth Frontiers?
A close friend of mine, who knows me and my love for music, connected me with a former Youth Frontiers Retreat Musician. After talking with this person, I thought that YF would be a good fit for me. I applied for the YCorps, and the rest is history.
What’s your favorite part of facilitating retreats?
I love the amount of passion that everyone puts toward the same goal of bringing positivity to every student, leader, teacher and staff involved in the day. I also think it’s really cool when there is a student who initially isn’t into the retreat but toward the end of it gets up and shares how impactful the day was for them.
What’s something that surprised you about the job?
What surprised me is how little we talk at the students during the retreat. The main way we get the point of the retreat across is through our actions rather than through lectures.
What is a favorite retreat story of yours?
On one Courage Retreat, a young lady didn’t speak in any of the small groups and just went through the motions during activities. She basically didn’t call attention to herself during the retreat. Then, come time to connect with those around her, she came up to me and asked, “What’s your story?” It caught me completely off-guard. After telling her a little bit about myself, she thanked me for the work I do and reassured me that although she didn’t participate much in the day, she took a lot from it.
What are you learning at Youth Frontiers that you will take with you after your YCorps commitment ends?
Here at YF, I’m learning to walk what I teach in everything that I am involved in.
This is literally the best job I have ever had, and I look forward to continuing a few YF traditions in a nonprofit I want to start, Dream2Reality.
This week’s Character Challenge was about making someone’s day. What makes your day?
When I see a smile from others throughout the day, and seeing them choosing to be positive whether their day is going well or not.
Thank you, Traiveon, for all that you have contributed to the YF team and for helping us accomplish our mission.