We were reminded of how wonderful and caring many young people are today by Side by Side and Camp Jump Start graduate Alyssa Scharff, who wrote back from college, reflecting on her time as a teen mentor in these programs. In her own words:
Of course I am interested in staying in touch with camp. I am continually using it for school papers and as a way to relate to classes. I am so blessed to have the experience of connecting with these children and hopefully influencing their life for the better. I love volunteering anyway I can. It makes me feel like I am giving back to the world and doing something positive. I honestly can not wait to help out at camp this summer. I am willing to do anything you need. As you already know I am not always the best with planning ahead, but I feel as though this camp is helping me more then it helps the children. Each year I learn something new about myself and others. I am so glad I was pushed to get involved my freshman year of high school. With out the camp I do not feel like my life would be as complete today. I just want to thank you for running programs like this. I know that you do not have to do as much as you do to make Jumpstart run as smoothly as it does. . . I just really want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for . . . running such an amazing program.