Adam came to the YMCA to make a difference in the lives of Spokane teens. Two years later he has built a community of support, love, and encouragement among the students at North Central High School with the Outside the Box program.
For three days a week during the school year, students at North Central High School participate in supervised activities, complete homework, go on field trips and are able to just be themselves. It’s a space that Adam has been proud to help create for students in all types of situations.
“I think everyone knows how difficult junior high and high school can be. Aside from just school work, there are a lot of things going on in a teen’s life. Here they can just forget about it or talk about it if they want. There’s no pressure,” Adam said.
The free program gives students a positive alternative to what they normally may be doing after school. “I’ve heard from some kids that if they didn’t have this program they’d be depressed at home, doing destructive things with friends, or nothing at all. It feels good to provide this alternative, and cultivate this space,” Adam said.
Adam’s desire to help teens comes from his own experiences as a child. Growing up at a summer camp in Michigan, Adam saw first-hand how positive role models can influence a person and how important positivity and encouragement are to adolescents. “I was able to grow up around a lot of adults who spent a lot of time and energy helping teens. It was so important, and I want to do that for others,” Adam said.
“Some kids don’t have a person in their lives who believes in them. They need to know that there is somebody in their corner who supports them. Once they have that, they can achieve so much more,” Adam said. “I work with these kids, some who have really tough lives, and I can see the impact. I can take a step back and see that the love and consistency they are getting is making a difference.”
The positive influence of the Y reaches beyond just his program, and Adam is happy to be a part of it, “this is an organization that prioritizes youth and teen programs. The things we are doing here are going to positively impact the Spokane area for years to come,” Adam said.
Adam takes his passion beyond his work, volunteering with the Union Gospel Mission to provide bible study for youth at the Spokane County Juvenile Detention Center.
When he’s not helping the next generation, Adam likes to keep up with the local music scene and enjoy Spokane’s many great coffee shops.