Buzz-Worthy Kids: Meet Ruslan, Sean, Kelsey, Sofiya & Soraya

All five of Counselors-in-Training (left-right, back row, then front): Ruslan Nikitchuk, Natomas High School; Sean Robinson, Grant High School; Sofiya Nikitchuk, Rio Tierra Junior High; Kelsey Martinez, Grant High School; and Soraya Diaz, Smythe Academy of Arts & Science 7-8.
THE NATOMAS BUZZ | @natomasbuzz
Five Natomas youth are giving back to the community in a special way.
As Counselors-in-Training at Stanford Settlement’s After School Groups, these young teens are volunteering both their time – and their heats – as role models for younger children.
Four days a week, children meet at the Stanford Settlement for after-school services. The Counselors-in-Training are an important part of the after-school program. Students currently volunteering are: Ruslan Nikitchuk from Natomas High School; Sean Robinson and Kelsey Martinez from Grant High School; Sofiya Nikitchuk from Rio Tierra Junior High: and Soraya Diaz from Smythe Academy of Arts & Science 7-8.
Social workers, who specialize in group work, staff the Stanford Settlement’s After School programs. The Counselors-in-Training mentor children participants in the program under social worker supervision.
The Counselors-in-Training are trained before they help with group activities like arts, crafts, sports, games, cooking and much more. The teens also work with the children on group problem solving by helping program participants talk out problems or redirect youngsters if they are having trouble with an activity.
Counselors-in-Training bond with the younger students, creating a consistent relationship and support structure through Stanford Settlement’s program.
“The most important thing about being a Counselor-in-Training, is the way they serve as role models … someone that the children can look up to,” said Julie Rhoten, group work coordinator at Stanford Settlement. “The Counselors-in-Training understand what the children are going through, as often they have gone through some troubles of their own as they were growing up.”
For more information on how you can help Stanford Settlement visit their website or call 927-1303.

THE NATOMAS BUZZ’s “Buzz-Worthy Kids” column highlights young people in the community who are doing amazing things. Nominations for the column can be sent to [email protected]

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