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Volunteer Kayla Kiely: “StreetWise is a mind-opening volunteer opportunity”

Thu, Oct 4, 2012

My name is Kayla Kiely I’m a sophomore at Loyola University Chicago.

I’m currently in a social-work class that has a service learning objective. I chose to do my service learning at StreetWise, Inc. for many reasons. One reason is because they have hands-on volunteering. From interviewing the vendors to helping with public relations, this company has already made an impact on my life. Being able to interview vendors and understand where these people are coming from and what kind of situations they are in makes me realize how lucky I am.

Finding grounds to empathize with the vendors is easy to do, but I will never truly understand the hardships and issues these vendors go through on a daily basis. The thing that inspires me the most is the positive attitudes the vendors have. After reading a few of the interviews in the magazine, I realized how important it is to stay positive and happy about life. The vendors have life significantly worse than I do and can stay positive and can still be inspired despite their hard situations, so why can’t I? This is a good life lesson… things could always be worse. Having that mind-set seems to help a lot of these vendors get through what they have to get through.

The other reason I liked StreetWise was because of their ability to really help the vendors. They offer housing support, workforce development, shelter options, medical care and referral, alcohol and substance abuse recovery, domestic violence support and they have many other helpful support systems.

StreetWise helps vendors from start to finish. They show the journeys that vendors have to go through and oftentimes have a success story to put on their website, as well. Overall, StreetWise is an interesting and mind-opening volunteer opportunity that I won’t take for granted.

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