Youth Enrichment Services (YES) recently sat down with another alumni, Galen Weber, to talk about his experience at YES.
Growing up in Arlington, Galen was involved with YES programs during his time in high school, from 2005-2009. He was a part of the Junior Volunteer Program (now known as the Leadership Corps program) throughout his time at YES. During the Operation SnowSports season, he would volunteer in the YES Rental Shop to get youth fitted for their skis, and on weekends he would go on trips and teach youth how to ski.
During his time at YES, Galen learned that he had the best impact when he was volunteering by doing something that he loved. He said, “I loved skiing, so that made it very easy to come in and be positive and have fun while giving back.” Through volunteering with YES, he saw the energy that you get when doing something that you love, which helped him find his passions today.
Galen’s favorite memory with YES was from his first day teaching youth how to ski on the mountain. He was working with three youth and it was their first run down the mountain. One youth immediately fell over, the second youth made it a little farther before falling, and the third youth flew down the mountain. When he helped the first youth get up, he was expecting them to be discouraged but they got back up and chased the others down the mountain. He recalled, “I realized that because they enjoyed skiing, they were willing to deal with setbacks, get up, and try again.”
YES not only allowed Galen to grow and give back, it also helped him find his passion. When he was a high school senior, he participated in the YES Career Exploration Program where he was placed in a summer job with Boston Public Schools. While there, he helped track and record data they were gathering from their after school program surveys, and it was first exposure to data and programming. Galen then went on to study economics in college and work in data and programming following graduation. He attributes his career path to the summer job he was placed at by YES. He was also a Richard Williams Memorial Scholarship recipient during his senior year of high school in 2009.
Galen currently works in programming at Atlassian. Although he doesn’t ski as much anymore, he still enjoys volunteering with youth through teaching programming.