April Phillips, LITE Coordinator at Chapel Hill UMC
My name is April Phillips and this is my first summer serving for Project Transformation. I am a LITE Coordinator at Chapel Hill UMC. I attend the University of North Texas and will be receiving my degree in Rehabilitation Studies with a minor in Human Services and Addictions.
I applied to be a part of Project Transformation this year simply because I needed 400 hours of hands-on experience by the end of the summer to complete my degree plan. My main goal was to figure out whether or not I wanted to pursue a career working with children. Despite being unsure, here at Project Transformation I have absolutely fallen head over heels for all of the children in our program.
The high school students at Chapel Hill are absolutely a joy to be around. Although none of them are perfect and they all come from different backgrounds, Monday through Thursday, they come together to build each other up through teamwork and creativity. Each LITE (Leaders in Training Experience) participant has unique characteristics that radiate onto the elementary kids and make an invaluable impression.
Speaking of, the elementary kids have grown on me immensely throughout my time serving at Chapel Hill. I can be as goofy as I want around them and there is absolutely no judgement. They think I am a rockstar and so to them, I am. Although I do not get to be with the elementary kids throughout the whole day, I have developed a love for these hilarious balls of energy. “Harambee” is by far one of my favorite parts of the day. This is the time where I can interact with and observe my LITEs and the elementary kids together. Watching their faces light up when we open the doors at 9 a.m. sharp is such a heartwarming feeling. Just to have a million little tiny humans so excited to see YOU, and give YOU giant hugs, and bring YOU artwork gives you an irreplaceable feeling of happiness, and makes all the responsibility of the job completely worthwhile.
Relationships are blooming all over the place at Project Transformation and I am just glad I get to take part in it all!