On Friday, August 9th, the official conclusion of Lincoln Junior High School’s 8 week summer Y.O.U. program, approximately 40 students participated in a Field Day, joined by a team of volunteers from Michael Silver & Company CPAs.
The afternoon was filled with a variety of outdoor activities, including a softball and kickball game, “Capture the Flag,” a balloon toss, three-legged relay races and obstacle courses, and a rousing game of Tug of War. Besides the activities held outside, the students were entertained by a magician (the father of one of the students), enjoyed a delicious ice cream social, and had the opportunity to have their official Field Day themed t-shirts, provided by Michael Silver, “autographed” by the other students.
According to Michael Silver & Company CPAs event coordinator, Joe Casey, “The Field Day was a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the students’ hard work throughout the summer program. As volunteers, we coordinated, supervised and participated in all of the events, and we were all very excited to be able to sponsor the ice cream social and t-shirt signing -- special parts of the Field Day that truly enhanced the overall experience.”
Joe was joined by other Michael Silver & Company volunteers, including Kamie Corfias, Beth DeFranceschi, Roxanne Edralin, Jennifer Birmingham, Drew Polakoff, Chris Samaan, and Kathy Stanek. Following are a few quotes from the volunteers, describing how much they enjoyed their volunteer experience:
It was so much fun playing in teams with the kids! I’ve not had the opportunity to participate in an event like this, but for the short time I spent with the kids, I’m grateful to have been involved in a program with a purpose that is so profound. The Y.O.U. program, and my experience with the kids, is a story that I would definitely tell my daughter when the time comes.
Roxanne Edralin, Audit Staff
I have worked with kids before, and it was nice to see them act supportive and nice to one another, no matter their age or skill level. It is a true testament to Brian and his people. I had fun!
Beth DeFranceschi, Administrative Team
It felt good to give back. The kids were very appreciative, and this was a kind reminder of how valuable giving is. A little time given to someone now can have a lasting effect. Overall, I appreciated the opportunity to hang out with the kids and know that they were happy to have us.
Chris Samaan, CPA, Tax Team
Spending time with a group of kids reminded me how easy it is to help out, to be of use to another. It’s so important to contribute to a community, but it is often difficult to find the time. You’ve just got to make it a part of your schedule.
Drew Polakoff, Administrative Team
It is truly rewarding to coordinate, as well as partake in, the Y.O.U. summer program -- and particularly the Field Day -- to celebrate the student’s learning accomplishment and witness the great bonds that were built on the day. For me, the feedback session was great to witness. One of the students commented that Y.O.U. is the only summer program that has really excited her and made her look forward to everyday learning. When I hear that, I know we contributed to a great program, a great cause, and to making a difference in that student’s life. When it was time to go, everyone hugged and thanked one another, as well as cheered for Michael Silver & Company for making it more special. I am happy to work for a firm with a strong community spirit, as well as for the opportunity to volunteer with such an impactful program as the Y.O.U.
Kamie Corfias, Tax Staff
Interacting with the kids was truly a wonderful experience. I thoroughly enjoyed being a part of their Field Day, assisting with others to create a fun-filled event for all the youths. There are not too many greater feelings than that of seeing smiling faces of children and knowing that you played a role. Alone, this event and experience would have been impossible; it took a group effort, enabled by MSCO’s willingness and desire to help the community.
Joe Casey, Tax Staff
Joe concluded, “I’d like to thank everyone for volunteering, and to Michael Silver & Company CPAs for providing us with an outlet to better serve the community. Based on the sincere gratitude of those within the Y.O.U. program, particularly Brian Williams, the Program Director, it was clear that we made a difference. Hopefully our involvement with Lincoln Junior High School continues to grow!
For more information about the Y.O.U program, see our “Welcome to the Real World! report, or visit http://www.youevanston.org/.