I’ve been part of TEEP for eight years and I am grateful for many things, such as my maturation as a person and as a leader. Its great when people notice how mature you are and how much you have grown in a small period of time, but it’s even better when you notice the change in yourself. Being counseled by TEEP’s first students allowed me to see first hand the great job that TEEP does in preparing young men and women to become leaders not only in TEEP but also in their communities. When I was younger the way the counselors carried themselves made me think that they were in their twenties, when they were really still teenagers.
Being led by such great counselors and seeing the seed they implanted in me made me want to follow in their footsteps. This is why every summer I return with the hope that I can do as good a job as my counselors had done with me. I attempt to instill respect, responsibility, restraint, redemption, and reciprocity in children who think they aren’t capable of using these values in everyday life. Really, all they need is a little guidance.
Today, being a co-director of the CIT (counselor in training) program allows me to help our future counselors find their leadership style. I have seen many different counselors be successful by using a number of strategies. In our curriculum we do many activities that help us figure out what kind of leaders we are and read about leaders that have changed history and how they did so. Although we read about many important figures in history, I feel the CIT’s learn the most when they observe their co-counselors being in the midst with the kids. TEEP makes me grateful for many things, but what I am thankful for the most is our previous counselors who inspired me to want to reciprocate by sharing my knowledge with the newest counselors.