YR Stories: Krystal Kennedy

Over the next couple of months, we will continue to share some of heartfelt stories we received on #YRday. The following was a story submitted by Krystal Kennedy. Krystal has two  children who participate in YR’s programming and she is a member of the YR Board. 

I am so happy that both of my kids are in TAC. My YR story started with my daughter Laine. She attended TEENPOWER CAMP and then went with a friend to a recruitment night as asked if she could join Teen Advisory Council (TAC) the fall of her freshman year. My initial reaction was, “Do you really want to get up that early for meetings?” Of course she said yes and her journey with TAC began. After she had been in TAC for about 6 months, I began to realize what an awesome organization it was. Let me explain, from a parents perspective how awesome this organization is:

• TAC is youth-led. The kids are responsible for every part of the program. They start out with simple tasks as freshmen, and have gained responsibility each year. This is the first organization that my family had been a part of where the children actually get all of the leadership experience, and there is NO burden on the parents (besides driving them to those early meetings until they get their license).

• TAC encourages you to meet other teens that are interested in community service and leadership from all the other schools in the area. The network that is built is amazing! It seems to be such a positive experience for most teens, that they don’t want to leave. Once they graduate, many return and serve as college and adult program advisors and continue to support this organization as alumni or board members.

• The community service opportunities are provided. If you have a teen that constantly wants to serve, it can be hard to identify opportunities in the community. TAC has a committee that develops a helpful, easy-to-use service calendar. Each time my daughter volunteers, she gets to work with different groups of teens and gets exposures to organizations that she would not have known about. She has served 100+ organizations in our community since her freshman year!

• As we begin to look at colleges, we are finding out how important community service is in the application process. They not only want you to have service, they want you to show that you have served consistently all four years of high school. TAC provides this consistency for my kids when applying to colleges.

YR is the most amazing organization for teens. It is lead by amazing people who truly care for your teen and want them to best version of themselves. It didn’t take me long to grow passionate about this organization. I started attending more of the parent-allowed events and asking how I could be more involved as well. I was so excited to become a member of the YR Board this summer. My kids shouldn’t be the only one having this much fun! 🙂