Community Youth Program (CYP) has undergone some staffing changes as former executive director Kathleen McEvoy heads to graduate school in Georgia. Jackie Smith, previously serving as program coordinator, steps into the role of executive director, and we see a familiar face back with us in the position of program coordinator – Kenny Nguyen, who worked with CYP in 2016-2017 through AmeriCorps.
“After his year of service with CYP as an AmeriCorps volunteer he took a job with one of our community partners [Family Service of Roanoke Valley],” says Smith. “Through that position, he was still able to conduct youth development programming every week at CYP. He has maintained a wonderful relationship with the students and his transition back will be seamless. His energy, caring personality and creativity are true assets to CYP.”
Nguyen’s commitment to working with young people is inspired partly by his own school years: “I realize the impact of an inspirational figure in one’s life, especially when we’re young. I’m sure these kids have amazing support from their parents – but for me, not only did I have support from my parents, there was a teacher that always stood out to me. I had her when I was in the seventh grade and she really showed me that she believed in me, had faith in me when I was just trying to figure myself out in middle school – and really challenged me with my studies. I didn’t want to let her down.”