R.O.C.K. Star Staff Q&A

R.O.C.K. Star Staff Q&A
By Jenna Watanabe, Marketing & Development Coordinator

For this newsletter, I’ll be interviewing Devin King, Family & Community Engagement Coordinator, who has an integral part of keeping our kids and their families connected to our programs. We wanted to find out what her journey has been like for the six years she’s worked with R.O.C.K. and learn more about what keeps her motivated in her work.

JW: Hi Devin, thanks for allowing us to interview you. Let’s start with your experience. How long have you worked with R.O.C.K.?
DK: I’ve been with R.O.C.K. for 6 years.

JW: Wow six years! That’s quite an accomplishment. What has helped you stay so committed to your job?
DK: The youth helps me stay committed! They are very visionary and just need support to make their dreams and goals attainable. Being a part of R.O.C.K. feels great in supporting them in their social development.

JW: Do you have any recent examples of how our youth demonstrates such vision?
DK: The 3rd graders last year felt there was an issue with gossiping among their class and school peers. They decided to host a Stop Gossiping Assembly, [which] was hosted and lead by the students. They were able to show different ways it affects individuals and how to avoid gossip among peers.

JW: What an amazing idea! They sound like really bright kids.
I was hoping to revisit your thought process when you decided to apply over six years ago. How did you first get involved with R.O.C.K.?

DK: I first got involved in R.O.C.K. when I was in college and thought about becoming a teacher. I knew I needed some experience in working in youth development, so I applied. It was a great decision because I have found other ways to be a teacher to the next generation.

JW: Can you give us some examples of the other ways you’ve learned to teach them?
DK: I have taught the youth art, cooking, gardening, recreation and the importance of being a leader in your community by holding lunch groups. Teaching and sharing what you enjoy can help students feel comfortable expressing themselves in safe ways.

JW: Can you tell us about a time when you took youth outdoors and what the experience was like? Specifically any examples of how youth learn how to take more risks and what you think it does for their character?
DK: Mountain Camp is a great experience for youth.  We take our younger youth to overnight camp every year. It is a great time when all youth are breaking out their comfort zone. A lot of youth are scared and have never been away from home, so they are not sure what to expect being away. [But eventually they] begin to open up and have a great time [with] all the different activities and events. The youth take risks…like swimming in the lake, mountain climbing or even fencing.  [The more they practice doing things out] of their comfort zone [the more they] build self-esteem and courage.

JW: Very cool. I know a lot of our volunteers rave about Mountain Camp and how fun it is to accompany kids as they explore the outdoors and embrace new experiences as supported by the values of our program. Speaking of values, what would you say are some of your strongest beliefs about our programs?
DK: [Probably the same] virtues [we teach at] R.O.C.K.: love, courage and self control. Those three virtues help create a safe space for both the youth and staff to grow and expand our community.

JW: Okay, so we’ve talked a lot about what you love about the organization. What is most challenging about working with R.O.C.K.?
DK: Seeing the youth grow–it is bittersweet.

JW: I can only imagine—that must be tough and exciting all at once. Is there anything that comes to mind, that you wish other people knew about R.O.C.K.? For example, what would you tell someone who is thinking about donating or volunteering?
DK: I wish people knew how much fun we have outdoors! [We have a great time taking] youth out of the city [because they get to have] new experiences and take risks! [R.O.C.K.] is a great program that wants to expand youth horizons with quality resources and experiences! All youth deserve to have accessibility to [tools that] further their growth.

JW: To finish, I have to ask this, just for fun: You’re stranded on an island and only get two meals. What are they?
DK: I would want a cheeseburger with fries and tomato soup with grilled cheese—with American cheese, of course. [It’s the only way to eat a grilled cheese!]

Special thanks to Devin King, for being an ambassador for R.O.C.K., keeping our community connected and supporting our kids for over six years.