Students on the Youth Council at HFH’s Saratoga Family Residence conducted a presentation via Zoom outlining their proposal for a new Teen Lounge to a group including longtime HFH collaborator, KidCare, Saratoga and HFH administration, program, and communications staff. While presenting their exciting ideas for the lounge it was clear how this hands-on activity enhanced their teamwork, project management, and communication skills. The students were focusing on budgeting for this project, but the numerous life-skills they were able to gain—from accountability to compromise—would not have come about from a textbook or standard academic experience.

The presentation included a PowerPoint followed by a Q&A where they discussed how their dream Teen Lounge would incorporate a bit of everyone’s personal interests in the form of a multimedia room featuring gaming consoles, a music board, and a mini basketball room. The Youth Council also emphasized their anticipation for the room to be a place where students can relax and find happiness whether it be through the room itself or with each other.

“Through this entire project, especially presenting to one of our collaborators, KidCare, the participants learned communicative skills such as eye contact, body posture, and the need to deliver a clear message,” said Michael Chapman, Director of Afterschool and Recreation at Saratoga.

The Saratoga Youth Council was created to teach youth how to better themselves and the community around them. Participants range from ages 9 to 14 and gain experience in leadership development, and career readiness while accessing mentoring opportunities. Having the opportunity to present to KidCare representatives is not only beneficial for the students to practice public speaking skills but also for KidCare to see firsthand the impact they have on the youth at HFH.

“The kids showed a great amount of confidence during the presentation, and we are so impressed that they take it upon themselves to be leaders for their peers,” said KidCare Founder Jonathan Dorfman. “We look forward to working with the team on a regular basis.”

The hope is that this presentation—and future presentations—will assist in preparing the students for the professional world.

KidCare has been working with HFH since it was founded in 2009 and supports academic, recreational, and career readiness programs through volunteering, mentoring, and in-kind and monetary donations.

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