Youth Matters contributor Alexis Washington has been involved with CYC in a myriad of ways since 2007. As a College Advisor, a mentor, and a YP Committee member, she sees the many ways in which CYC impacts the community, and the many ways in which community members can be a part of that impact. As a Valentine’s Day treat, she shares how her involvement with CYC played a role in a romance.
CYC gave me my first “real” job in 2007. I was a College Access Coordinator (now called a College Advisor) in a Cincinnati Public Schools high school. Through the years since that first job, my continued involvement with CYC has provided incredible experiences. I have worked with, mentored, and tutored students. I have chaperoned proms, led graduates at commencement, and accompanied students on numerous college tours. CYC has also given me unique opportunities, like attending Cirque du Soleil with my mentee, reaching out to other mentors at the annual Thank-A-Thon, judging scholarship competitions, and serving on the Young Professionals Committee. One of the most memorable moments was seeing one of my students win the CYC Outstanding Student Award and scholarship; she later went on to attend Miami University. It is always amazing to run into students in the community and learn that they are successfully employed.
These moments are why I am very passionate about what CYC does for young people, and why I made a promise to myself: a life commitment to empowering vulnerable youth. I strive to show others the value in mentoring and supporting students. This resolve led me to the wonderful opportunity to help craft the first Young Professional’s Trivia Night fundraiser, now in its fourth iteration. It is amazing how the YP group has grown—I am starting to realize that many of my former students are young professionals, yet somehow I am still a YP myself!
Having a group of people that share the passion for helping the youth of Cincinnati has made it easy to stay connected to the organization over these many years. Moreover, it has been a treat to support CYC through fundraising.
As it happens, one fundraising event almost two years ago involved my favorite activity: bowling. It was also a great chance to show off my skills to a guy I had just started dating. My bowling skills did not make as big of an impression on him as the purpose of the event—to get more people involved in mentoring. CYC is such a fixture in my life that it ended up shaping our early courtship. He even accompanied me to the 2015 CYC Trivia Night!
Wouldn’t you know it, I am now engaged to that very same bowling and trivia partner! After 15 months and a romantic proposal in Mexico, I am excited to transition into a new life commitment with my fiancé. It is truly special knowing that our shared commitment to Cincinnati youth will color our future together as we continue to support the mission of CYC.
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