Welcome back to the POP QUIZ! This is a regular, yet totally unexpected, feature where we ask students, parents, staff, our friends, and partners to answer a few questions about what they are learning, reading, and thinking about. Today we feature Danyelle Brown, a youth development worker (YDW) with Communities In Schools of Kalamazoo.
Danyelle got her start with CIS volunteering in the after school program at Northglade Montessori Magnet School. In January of 2018, Danielle was offered a position as a youth development worker. We were thrilled when she accepted!
Danyelle is from Detroit, Michigan and beginning her junior year at Western Michigan University, studying early childhood education.
“It’s amazing to get my feet wet with CIS and getting the opportunity to do what I’m going to be doing for the rest of my life!” Danyelle says.
[This interview took place during CIS Think Summer! You can find out more about Danyelle in the upcoming issue of CIS Connections.]
Alright, Danyelle: pencil out, eyes on your own paper. Good luck.
What is something interesting you’ve recently learned this summer?
I’ve learned patience. It’s definitely a process when it comes to behavior and meeting kids right where they are and working with them from that place that they are in.
Reflection. I think that reflection is vital, especially working with children, it gives them an opportunity to acknowledge the things going on and, if necessary, can allow them to re-direct or correct themselves and move forward. With my kids, we do reflection every day, at the end of each day.
Reflection is an important skill to acquire, isn’t it?
Yes, it’s definitely a skill we need to teach. Sometimes, kids don’t even want to acknowledge the day that they’ve just had, but when they do, I find it modifies behavior, to say the least. Mistakes that they may have made are usually not made anymore.
A really cool book! My kids and I just read Bigmama’s by Donald Crews. We all really enjoyed it. Just experiencing the joy they got out of reading that book got me excited in experiencing that with them!
What do you love about Kalamazoo?
Just one thing?
It can be more than one, if you’d like.
I love the environment of Kalamazoo and the people. It’s a very safe place. And a great place to raise a family, in my opinion. Though, I would prefer more shopping centers at the mall. That’s my only issue!
This city is not too big and not too small. It’s a good distance away from home. People here are so loving and friendly and I love that, since I’m a people-person. I’m accepted here, and appreciated.
What’s one of your favorite places in Kalamazoo?
My church, Mt. Zion Baptist Church. My pastor, Dr. Addis Moore, is so amazing. It’s a privilege to be able to sit under his great teaching. And everyone there is so loving.
Behind every successful student is a caring adult. Who is one of your caring adults?
I have so many loving people, and have been fortunate to have a great support system, so it’s hard to choose just one, but I’m going to say my mother, Kallee Brown. That woman is amazing! She’s showered me with so much love and wisdom. She is the reason that I’m the woman I am today. I don’t know where I’d be without her. She is my superwoman.
What makes her super?
She has so much love. And she’s a mother to everyone. To her nephews, to children that aren’t her children, and you experience that love with just one encounter with her. She is loving and kind to all.
Thank you, Danyelle, for hanging out with us at Ask Me About My 12,000 Kids.
Our kids need more Youth Development Workers, enthusiastic individuals like Danyelle, to step up and serve after school (Monday through Thursday). If you or someone you know might be right for the job, go to CISKalamazoo.org and apply today!