July 26, 2021

University-bound student inspires youth at the Cayman Islands Y

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Caymanian Samuel Reid is preparing to pursue civil engineering studies in the UK but while he awaits his university experience, the 21-year old is keeping himself busy by giving back to the community through his involvement with the YMCA Cayman Islands. Reid works at the Y as a Youth Development Leader where he helps to impart positive character values to the hundreds of kids he has an opportunity to influence.

Reid, also known at the Y as “Bugs” (for Bugs Bunny, because of his love of the cartoon character and carrots), began his journey at the Y with what was only going to be a summer job in 2016. However, it has become a fun and rewarding part-time career that adds purpose to this young man’s life, every day.

The opportunity to work at the Y came to Bugs when he was still in high school.

“Staff from the YMCA came to school one day looking for people to sign up to be a camp leader at the Y and I thought this would be a great opportunity to work with kids as well as develop my own character,” he said. “Now, in my position as Youth Development Leader at the extended after-school programme and the Y day camps, I help guide the younger generation of the Cayman Islands in the right direction using the Y’s proven way of activities and fun lessons which all teach the Y core values.”

Reid says the thing he enjoys most about working at the YMCA is interacting with the kids.

“Each child is different but I learn so much about all of them by interacting with them every day – what they enjoy doing, their talents, what they want to be when they grow up – and knowing this information helps me to steer each of them toward the person they want to be,” he explained.

The Y core values of honesty, caring, respect, responsibility and faith are integral to everything the Y does, and the impact of those principles have not been lost on Bugs even as he imparts them to others as part of his mandate.

“They influence my life in an everyday kind of way because they are actions you’re meant to do every day. Responsibility: taking care of not only yourself but the environment; Respecting and caring for others, yourself and the environment. My mom always told me that being respectful and having manners can take you around the world. Honesty because it is indeed the best policy. These values should all be a part of our character.”

When he eventually goes off to school, Bugs says he will leave with a lot of fond memories working at the Y. His favourite, if he had to choose, would be the time that the Y campers from Cayman Brac came to Grand Cayman and attended the Savannah after-school camp. He says he’ll never forget how excited they were to be there and experience something they had never been a part of before.

The YMCA Cayman Islands is actively seeking people like Samuel who want to serve their community. For more information, visit the Careers page at www.ymcacayman.ky or email [email protected]

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