by Miranda Watson
I’m a passionate, reserved, unique, admirable, lover of KC Gates barbecue, music and movies. I like to act and perform and have been in a gospel choir, and an Ebony Theatre Play as one of the leading roles, Anjee in Not Without Laughter. I’m a Christian, and occasional basketball player who likes to word search. I grew up in Kansas City, and I’m a senior at Kansas State University, majoring in Communication Studies.
I discovered the Hire KC Youth program last spring through Kauffman Scholars Inc. when I was a scholar. Last summer I interned at City Hall as a Human Relations intern. This summer I am a Hope and Healing Intern at KC Mothers in Charge. KC Mothers in Charge is a non-profit organization with the mission to reduce violent crime through prevention, education, and intervention, and to guide and support the families of victims.
My role there has been helping out with office tasks, program data entry and reporting, producing a summer newsletter, updating social media platforms, and assisting with weekly family calls and phone surveys. I work for Ms. Rosilyn Temple, the founder and executive director at our Kansas City branch. I work alongside CORE Mothers in the program with staff, Police officials, families, volunteers, and the community. CORE Mothers are women who have courageously chosen to join the movement against violence after losing a loved one to violence.
Peace of me
I experienced a “Woah!” moment at work through an exchange with colleagues. I told them about my top five strengths which are a strong belief that I must help the community, including people, significance in service, strategic outreach, and helping to command.
I have always had a growing need for wanting to help my community and to make it a better place. My strength of belief is knowing that this organization is doing everything that we are supposed to be doing and more. Whether it is through supporting our community financially, emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually. I also believe that we are making a difference in Kansas City communities.
We are changing people’s mindsets but most importantly their actions. Participating in our canvassing events and telling Kansas City residents to honk their horns in support and help stop the violence – it reinforces my passion and educates my peers by keeping individuals aware. We, as people, need that reinforcement. I see people honking their car horns, stopping alongside the road accepting our informational fliers and I know they care. They see us as people who are part of something greater than ourselves. To me, we are reaching success.
I would like to thank Mayor Sly James for this program, Hire KC Youth — especially the people who work tirelessly behind the scenes, and Nick Dorn.* As young people, it can be tough when looking for internships. But you made it special. Thanks to you and Kauffman, I gained my first two internships through this program.
And to all the high school students and college students: join this program as soon as possible. Parents help your children at this point because it is definitely worth it. From the workshops, mentoring and professional connections, these are crucial lifelong experiences.
Most importantly, I would like to thank Rosilyn Temple and Jennifer Tung Alexander for giving ‘little ole me’, a college student, a chance with a spontaneous belief.
*Nick Dorn is a former director of Hire KC.