Samira* came from a big family. Among her half-dozen siblings Samira sat somewhere in the middle of the pack. Though just in her mid-teens when we met her, it was clear that she’d always been a caregiver: for her siblings and even for her parents. Lucky for us, she brought this precocious talent with her to CityKidz.
Role Models of Hope
At CityKidz, Samira’s skill and poise as a Jr. Leader were impossible to ignore. Working as part of a bus team, she could always be counted on to care for the kids around her: on the bus, in our theatre, on home visits.
Samira was always loving, playful and compassionate. But she also understood the importance of rules and discipline. When an argument or a dispute arose between kids, Samira would always find a graceful way to break it up and make sure that both kids were doing ok.
Samira’s impact stretched beyond the kids she cared for; CityKidz staff were also gaining insights from the teenager.
“Samira knew that in order to be better as a person, you have to look after others and yourself,” recalled Circe, CityKidz’ graphic designer. “You learn a lot from a kid and you don’t expect that,” she continued.
Remembering Samira’s strength as a Jr. Leader, Circe credited the teen as a keen observer of the effective leaders around her. While Samira had a natural talent for serving children with joy and compassion, seeing positive behaviours and strategies modelled by the adult volunteers around her only helped to develop and refine her own gifts.
In turn, Samira’s own grace and competence in her role served as an example to all the young children she knew and served on her bus route.
“It’s just a contagious thing,” affirmed Circe.
Ripples of Change
Great leaders like Samira are one of the important things that keep children coming back to CityKidz. They make kids feel safe and loved, and they show them a positive way forward.
Servant leaders demonstrate how to be kind, self-aware and respectful. They model selflessness and self-care. They prove that fun, friendship and happiness flourish when we follow the path of faith, hope and love.
In this way, Samira was a testament to the powerful impact a role model can have.
Nurturing relationships are at the core of CityKidz mission. We know that positive role models have a transformational ripple effect in our community. When we consistently demonstrate positive attitudes and behaviours, we give kids who are lost an example to follow and kids like Samira affirmation that they are on the right path. In time, we see our values and vision reflected back at us.
25 years of experience have shown us that CityKidz children carry the faith, hope and love they experience at CityKidz with them into their homes, their communities and their futures where it can grow and multiply.
Lead the Change
If you love working with children and youth, consider volunteering with CityKidz. The opportunities to help sow seeds of hope into vulnerable children’s lives are endless. We need role models like you! Click here to get started.
*Names and images have been changed for privacy purposes. Images do not reflect the main character in this blog but are a representation of the relationships formed and built at CityKidz programs.