PT Corps Members: Making a Difference and Seeing Potential in Every Child

Sebastian Castillo, PT Corps Member at Chapel Hill UMC

This is my first summer with Project Transformation and I have deeply enjoyed every aspect of being a PT Corps Member. I came in not knowing what to expect, but knew the experience would allow me to grow in my faith, as a professional, and as a student. My goal here has been to solidify my calling in serving others and to be an inspiring difference in the kids’ lives.  In my time here, I have learned many things about myself and have realized how much of a blessing this opportunity has been.

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Coming in as a Reading Coordinator (RC) was somewhat daunting due to the additional responsibilities of helping the kids grow in their ability to read and comprehend during the summer. I was afraid of not being able to advance the youths’ literacy skills, but I knew as long as I gave my all and expressed my genuine care for their future, everything would be fine. As the summer has progressed, and I have grown closer to the youth, I realize how fun being a RC really is! Although the kids may not always prefer reading, learning new SAT words, and making personal connections to the stories, I believe they are beginning to see the significance reading makes in their lives. When I was their age, I would not read a book to save my life, but I learned the importance of picking up a novel as I began to mature and work towards advancing my education. During reading time with the youth, I see potential in them all. I know that even though getting through reading time every day has its ups and downs, it makes me proud to see that they will sit quietly and read after some convincing. Not only does reading give them something productive to do during the summer months, but it is a progressive step in refining their literacy skills and education.

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Here at Project Transformation, I just want to make a difference. I want the youth to know they can move mountains no matter what others may say or where they are from. Every individual has a story that makes them who they are. When I look at the kids, I firmly believe each and every one of them can be great! Although I was hesitant at first about being the Youth Reading Coordinator for my site, it has been a true blessing. I see the role I play and how much of a difference reading time can make in their future. Being a part of Project Transformation, meeting like-minded individuals, and serving the community is a memory I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

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