Youth Enrichment Services (YES) recently spoke to YES alumni, Chris Cadogan, to learn more about his experience as a YES alumni and current staff member.
Chris’s first experience with YES was as a YES Kid from 2006-2011. He was involved in YES’s SnowSports and Outdoor Adventure programs, where he went hiking and learned to ski. As a high school student, Chris joined the YES Leaderships Corps program. During the summer, Chris was involved in YES’s Summer Jobs program as part of the Outdoor Adventure program.
Chris returned to YES in Fall 2021 and currently works as the Outreach and Enrollment Coordinator. He supports outreach efforts in the community, helps families and young people enroll in programs, and liaises with families about enrollment, eligibility, and program logistics. As the first staff person that families often interact with, Chris says that he aims to set youth up for success as they begin their YES experience!
Thinking back on his earlier time at YES, Chris says he was able to learn valuable leadership and self-confidence skills. “I was always scared of public speaking, but with YES I ran Orientation sessions which made me more confident talking to an audience,” Chris remembers. “Leading family orientations helped me feel more comfortable talking in front of larger groups.”
One of Chris’s favorite memories with YES was going to Swann Lodge during the summer. “I was always terrified of going to sleepaway camp,” Chris remembers. “But everyone made me feel comfortable at Swann Lodge – and I had an awesome time!”
Experiences like outdoor adventures at Swann Lodge and leadership development opportunities helped Chris get out of his comfort zone and grow into a young leader. For Chris, the experience has come full circle as he is passing on these experiences and helping a new generation of YES youth experience the special magic of YES.
Chris graduated from McGill University where he studied Political Science and International Development. During his free time, Chris enjoys skiing, thrifting, swimming, reading, and hiking.