Congrats to our Fellow of The Week, Jessica Grazulis!
Jessica serves as The Youth Development Fellow at Greater Fall River Re-Creation.
1. Please describe your project at Greater Fall River Re-Creation this year.
This year, I have the pleasure of working with several different groups of youth, including the Youth Leadership Council (YLC), and student leaders at local middle schools via Promise Leaders of Tomorrow (PLOT). I provide service learning and leadership trainings, as well as assist both groups of youth in community service involvement. Additionally, I am guiding the YLC through the Youth Master Plan development process, including public meetings and committee meetings to generate ideas that will create a shared vision for the future of Fall River’s youth over the next 20 years. Re-Creation is involved in many community events, so I also have the chance to help with various events throughout the course of the year.
2. What is your favorite part about this project?
My favorite part about this project is the youth I have an opportunity to work with. I am fortunate enough to work with a very driven, community service oriented group, on both the high school and the middle school level. It’s cool to have the chance to help them help their community. While some days can definitely be challenging, both groups of youth are a blast to be around and I rarely leave without laughing with them about something. Another thing I really enjoy about this particular project is being in the collaborative community of Fall River. The organizations work so well together and are always finding new ways to team up on one community initiative or another.
3. Who inspires you at your host site?
The executive director of my organization, Grace Gerling, is inspiring to me. She wears various hats at Re-Creation, and she handles them with, well, grace! She is a very caring, dedicated, and passionate individual who is unafraid to hold her ground, and she has made a great name for herself in the organization as well as the community.
4. What has this year of service taught you about yourself?
Serving in an area with a high Portuguese population, this year has reinforced that I love working with individuals from different cultural backgrounds than my own. Maybe by the end of the year I’ll be able to speak a little Portuguese!
5. What has been your favorite snow day activity during the past couple weeks?
While I have enjoyed relaxing and making hot chocolate during my snow days, my favorite part has probably been hanging out with my roommates. I’ve also had some pretty great solo dance parties while cleaning my room.