It was the SCASD parade yesterday so there weren't many children at Bellefonte Youth Center (by Centre County Youth Service Bureau) where I was volunteering. However, I got to meet a few girls from high school and talk to them about their future and the Colombian culture.
I was impressed that their knowledge of Spanish was to a point, above the level of other children in High School, including those close to my household. They even had a chart of words in English and Spanish, and they were trying their best to practice them looking at me for approval in their pronunciation.
While cooking and laughing, I got to think that Centre County is a place where the African proverb “it takes a village to raise a child” becomes real.
The Bellefonte Youth Center is a place where kids and teens can congregate in a safe and supervised environment. The staff of that night was extremely friendly and well trained to deal with different situations.
Moreover, teens between 14 and 18 are allowed to stay a couple of hours more after the center is closed at 7:30pm. While there are organized activities during the day, kids are encouraged to read, study, or relax.
I believe that as an American today, but a foreigner that arrived almost a decade ago to the United States, I can impact our community with activities such as cooking with young generations and teaching them about different cultures.
I will be doing this every second Thursday of the month. I plan to feature next month the culture of Italy and I am planning to cook meat-lasagna and chicken in pesto pasta. Learn about The Centre County Youth Service Bureau in this link and feel free to make a donation on their website; there are many ways to contribute to their cause.