Youth Enrichment Services continues to share stories of YES alumni continuing to utilize the lessons learned from their time at YES. YES recently spoke with alumni and current staff member, Aaliyah Yarde, to hear about her experiences at YES and the impact they have had on her.
Aaliyah first became involved in YES as a sophomore in high school at age 15. She started as a Junior Volunteer (now known as the Leadership Corps), and went on to become a Summer Staff member after graduating. From 2016 to 2019, Aaliyah was an Adult Volunteer while attending Skidmore College, where she graduated with a B.S. in Health and Human Physiological Sciences.
From her time at YES, Aaliyah learned more about herself. She said, “I had never realized how much I liked the outdoors until my time at YES.” Through her volunteer experience with YES, she learned leadership skills by leading groups of youth and learning how to delegate tasks.
Her favorite memories of YES include going up to the ski lodge, where she was able to hang out with friends or just enjoy the slopes. She also enjoyed hiking with other YES youth during Outdoor Adventure activities.
Through these experiences with YES, Aaliyah was able to become a better leader through her volunteer positions. Volunteering at YES, she learned how to manage a group and delegate tasks. These skills were able to be utilized throughout her college career, where she earned multiple student supervisor positions.
Currently, Aaliyah is the College Prep Coordinator for YES through a Mass Promise Fellowship, where she assists high school students with the college application process. This includes organizing college tours, filling out applications, and applying for scholarships. For fun, Aaliyah enjoys hanging out with friends, trying out new restaurants and reading. In the future, she hopes to start climbing more.