Jumpstart Afterschool Program Coordinator
Understanding how important it was for children and youth to be involved in sport, culture and recreation motivated Randi Keshane to become involved in the Jumpstart program as an Afterschool Program Coordinator in September 2017.
“I have always known that programs like the Jumpstart Afterschool Program are needed for children and youth that face barriers to participation within the city,” Keshane said.
She said that her parents were big supporters of sport while she was growing up and that had a big impact on her. “They were at every sporting event that I had and they always made sure I was where I needed to be. My strong home fire of support is something that I am extremely grateful for. I understand that some youth don’t have support beyond school, so this program gives those kids an outlet where they can feel supported.”
Keshane’s role in the program is to oversee day-to-day operations and ensure everything is running smoothly. This includes making sure that the program schools have enough staff, the tools needed for quality programming, and that the staff are aware of the processes in place to keep staff and participants safe. She works behind the scenes to offer support to the mentors and leaders who are working on the frontlines.
Keshane said the Jumpstart program allows youth to learn new skills while building on leadership qualities. She feels it attributes to a culture of healthier children through participation.
She adds that it also strengthens their relationship-building skills and participants are able to find friendships by interacting with children from other grades. They are able to learn from the mentors and leaders that putting forth their best effort will always have a positive outcome.”
One thing that has stood out to Keshane during her Jumpstart experience is how excited previous participants get when the program begins anew at the start of the year.
“From the first day of each program, I was able to see how genuinely excited and happy children and youth were to have the program back for another year. Participants were happy to see some familiar faces in the returning mentors and leaders,” Keshane said. “I have been able to see growth in the children and youth. Some might have anger issues, some might have trust issues, but through participation and support, they have progressed in being able to deal with conflict and have built relationships with the mentors, leaders and other participants. It’s great to see that the kids are happy to be involved daily in the program.”
Keshane said she has been able to witness how each school has great athletes and this program allows them to practice and further develop their skills.