Relationships are the foundation of work with youth. In a world where it seems impossible to trust
because people tend to have ulterior motives or frankly just don’t care, it becomes immensely important that trust is established between myself and the youth I am in contact with. And that trust takes time and effort.

You might wonder why we take them to do activities like Castle Fun Park where it’s hard to have a
conversation because of the amount of loud video games and screaming children. Shared experiences are a strong binder in relationships which is exactly what this is. It is breaking the ice between getting to know them and them trusting you. It also allows them to see me in an environment interacting with other people who I am not “working” with. They are able to see if I can live out the way I say I do, which is often a discrepancy among others.

For myself, I love the challenge of getting to know people which makes this job all the more exciting. I also enjoy the time and effort it takes to gain their trust. Sometimes a great amount of patience and love is needed in order for them to begin opening up. The youth who are located in the pictures are some of the youth I have had the privilege of getting to know. They are both very kind-hearted and driven in the areas they are passionate about and it is amazing to see them flourish in those areas. These are the youth that make my job look easy. They are willing to chat, willing to hang out and willing to help out if needed. Castle Fun Park with these two was a blast; smashing baseballs and playing video games. But it takes these experiences to allow them to open up on a deeper level in order to really walk through life with them in a long term setting.

- Rachel Tapp


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