Agency Reflection: Haruna Gutierrez

Educational support from the community is a great thing. From my experiences as a tutor at the Brian Coyle Community Center located in the West Bank of the University of Minnesota campus, I have learned a lot from the kids that I have worked with. The community that the Brian Coyle Community Center serves is predominantly a Somali community. Most of the kids all go to school somewhat near the center and go to the after school program where I help them with their homework.

My experiences from the center had made me realize the impact of both the children and the center have on the community and on myself. I have learned that the Brian Coyle Center provides so many other programs and services that help many families in the community. I think that the after school program is such a great program for the kids in the Somali community in Minneapolis because as I have worked with them, I learned that many of them benefited from the homework help and also the activities at the center. I observed that many of the kids rely on the help of tutors for their homework and it is often hard for them to seek help at home. Also, they enjoy playing with their peers and being able to participate in fun activities after school. In the Minneapolis community, I believe that there isn’t enough programs like the one at the Brian Coyle Center and I believe that those programs would help so many people in other communities like the one that the Brian Coyle Center serves.

To learn more about this issue, I searched it up on the internet and found some after school programs in Minneapolis. There weren’t many programs and not all are free and specifically for a certain community. Moreover, I believe that more community organizations that have after school programs could be helpful in diverse communities like the Somali community in the West Bank part of campus. The costs of providing an after school program can be limiting and can keep people from acting in response to this issue. The local legislators and the government can help with funding more after school programs in areas where it is most needed in Minneapolis. I think that having more after school programs can help a lot of kids stay out of trouble and learn a lot from their community as well.

As I volunteer in one of the after school program in Minneapolis, I can tell a difference that the program makes to the kids that attend it. They learn a lot from their peers and also I have learned a lot from them. I think that it can be costly to fund after school programs but the benefit of having more of them will pay off in the future generations in communities like in Minneapolis. In the future, I would like to continue to volunteer in these organizations that provide for the community and hopefully help with raising money to fund these organizations. I truly believe that after school programs help not only the youth but also the whole community’s well being.

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