If there is one thing Kaelin Hurst has learned since her time in TeenQuest and Summer Youth Initiative (SYI), it is how to multi-task.
As the Shared Services Coordinator at the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce, Hurst provides support for programs including Leadership NOW and the Chamber’s training and development workshops.
“When coordinating our workshops, I am responsible for booking the venue, ensuring that the facilitator has details on the event and communicating important information to our Events Manager,” Hurst says. “The day of the event, I set up the space, check in attendees, introduce the facilitator and break down everything afterward. There are a lot of moving parts, so it’s important to be organized.”
Below, learn how TeenQuest and SYI helped Hurst get to where she is today, and what she plans on doing in the future.
What has been your proudest moment since TeenQuest/SYI?
In college, I started a fashion and Christian-based blog and subsequent Christian clothing line. After my junior year, I had the opportunity to be a vendor at a large Christian conference in Atlanta. I ended up selling around 500 t-shirts and met many new people. The experience of putting out a product, and seeing people like it and support it, was amazing.
What is your favorite part about your job?
Every day is different. I get to move around and be creative in various aspects of my job. Also, my boss teaches me about being a leader and acts as a role model to me as an individual. I think having someone I can learn from gives me the opportunity to grow.
What is the most important lesson you learned in TeenQuest/SYI?
Having confidence. In my program, I felt like an outsider compared to the people in my group because I came from a different background. I have always been confident, but I had to develop certain skills to change the way I was perceived there. TeenQuest helped me learn from other people, and really gave me a unique perspective on life.
What was your most memorable moment in TeenQuest/SYI?
The SYI Volunteer Service Day. I helped clean up the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Flint. It made me appreciate giving back to the community. I learned the importance of being there for my community in my own way.
What are your plans for the future?
I plan on following my passions–helping people, fashion and entrepreneurship. To help people, I think about starting a non-profit for young girls, helping them with education and etiquette. I want to start my own clothing line. And on the entrepreneurial side, I want to start a group in Flint to help support small business and focus on personal accountability.
What advice would you give to current TeenQuest/SYI Students?
Take education opportunities seriously, because you never know when you will need that knowledge. Make connections with your site team leaders—they could be a resource for you in the future. Be a sponge and take in everything you can.