Let Yourself Try

Dennisse - beforeSo let me tell you a little something about Dennisse.  When she first joined our Youth Advisory Program, two years ago, she was a high school junior with some work experience.  She had been working as a cashier over at Boston’s Aquarium, sitting in a booth outside on 90 degree days.  When we met her at her interview it was obvious that she was smart and full of passion, but she was shy, and had a tough persona, to protect herself I think. So Dennisse didn’t know what to expect from us, and we were kind of nervous that she’d be a handful.  I remember the first day I sat down in the Resource Center with her and Paoli. I was orienting them to the Center, showing them where everything is, describing what it would be like for them to interact with patients and hospital staff.  Paoli was smiling and nodding at me, and Dennisse was slouched in her chair, staring at the rug.

Dennisse - afterSo there was Dennisse, with all her shyness manifesting as attitude, and I thought “uh-oh.” But what I didn’t realize was that she was actually paying attention, and taking in all that information.  What I didn’t know was that she really wanted to be there, and she wanted to learn how to be part of the team and reach out to her peers.  Now that I look back and see how it all unfolded — the amazing and inspiring thing that Denisse did was, even though she was nervous and negative at first, she stuck with it. She kept showing up to work, and learning more and more, and getting more comfortable with the people she was working with. Day after day she gave herself a chance. And that is one of the best things you can do in this life when you’re facing a new situation – even if you’re scared & uncertain – let yourself try.

– Freedom