“I grew up in a loving family. For many kids it’s not like that. Moorelands taught me to be aware of more than just what’s in front of you.”
Mike “Squeak” Kim started working at Moorelands Camp in 2004 and went on to be a Section Head and then the Assistant Manager of our City Programs. Although he officially left in 2009, he continues to volunteer regularly.
For Mike, one thing that stands out about Moorelands’ approach is the focus on creating “the best environment possible” for the kids we serve.
Leadership for Staff and Kids
“Staff here are pushed to do more.” He explains, “It’s more than just playing or babysitting –there’s a strong focus on developing leadership skills in both the kids and the staff.”
Working at Moorelands made a huge impact on Mike’s life. He credits Nemo and Lost with helping him overcome his fear of public speaking, but he also learned so much from them about how to lead, develop staff and empower kids: “Everything I learned at Moorelands I now model in the way I conduct myself as a social worker.”
A Sense of Community and Citizenship
Today, Mike works at a homeless shelter for youth and helps youth find and keep employment. When working with these kids, he uses Moorelands strategies – such as fostering a sense of community and citizenship – and makes sure never to label anyone as a “bad kid.”
“Moorelands taught me that I can be the person who reinforces the negative stereotype a kid holds of themselves, or I can show them that they are a person of value who can do great things. That’s a game changer.”
An Experience like Moorelands Can Make All the Difference
At work, he’s always struck by just how different things might have been for his clients if they’d had an experience like Moorelands.
“Now, I see youth at the worst time in their life. They have been neglected; they’ve run away from home. They often ask me, ‘Where was someone like you when I was younger?’ I really believe when you invest in kids at a younger age – like Moorelands does – it negates the bad influences.”
Mike is so proud to continue to be a part of Moorelands: “It takes a community to help these kids. Things don’t change over-night; it’s a long-term investment.
“The work you make possible is so influential. The friendships and connections kids make at Moorelands – they continue to support us long after camp.”
Thanks, Mike, for being a part of the Moorelands’ community! We’re so glad to have you as part of our world!