Teens Train to be Imagine Facilitators

Imagine trained its third class of teen volunteers who will help facilitate support groups for the youngest children attending Imagine.  Pictured l-r are front row:  Briana McGowan,Fanwood; Chelsea Deegan, Berkeley Heights; Katherine McGowan, Fanwood; Madison Hermann, Short Hills; Steven Zucker, Westfield; and back row: Sara Begalman,Scotch Plains; Training Facilitator and Graduate Intern, Corey Wisler,Scotch Plains; Charlotte Seltzer, Westfield; Sydney Gordner, Westfield;  Bryanna Reinhardt,Westfield; Jack Greiner, Chatham; and Training Facilitator, Dan Balassone, Westfield.
Pictured here are our two of our beloved current Imagine Teen Faciltiators Meghan Summers and Meghan Pettit, both of Westfield.  Meghan Summers shared that “through Imagine I've learned how to listen. And I mean truly listen. It has helped me more than I ever would have thought. Imagine has become one of the biggest aspects of my life. I once joked that I would rather facilitate at imagine than win the lottery and everyone thought I was kidding.... I wasn't!  Once I started facilitating I never looked back. Not a day goes by that I don't think about the kids in my support group as well as my co facilitators”   Meghan Pettit added  ““Volunteering at Imagine has been one of the best, if not the best, decision I've made in my life. Granted, I'm only 17, however Imagine has truly transformed me. It's taught me a number of things that I would not have had the opportunity to learn anywhere else. While I know I am helping Imagine, I feel like Imagine is helping me. Since being introduced to Imagine, my entire perspective has changed. I've realized what really matters in life. Imagine has also taught me that feelings are meant to be expressed and they are meant to be heard. I am forever grateful for Imagine and everything it has taught me; I wouldn't trade it for the world.”  

Imagine is thrilled to welcome our latest class of teen volunteers who will be working with us on our fourth Night of Support Starting in January 2015.  The teens will be co-facilitating with adult volunteers, groups for children age 3-12.  We have learned so much from our teen volunteers who provide a wonderful energy and presence and ability to bond with the children.  Becca Freer of Westfield, one of our first teen volunteers shared this testimonials with us:  Throughout my life I have gone through losses, all of different kinds, but never realized how much of an impact a loss can have on someone until I started volunteering at Imagine. Imagine is an absolutely incredible organization that allows people to relate, share and heal all in their own ways. The opportunity to be a youth facilitator at Imagine is one that I will forever cherish. I have been taught countless lessons and can recount unlimited memories from my time at Imagine. Everyone who is a volunteer there is a unique, caring and talented person who has taken their time to do something truly life-changing, and I am honored to be able to work besides these people. Imagine has changed so many lives, and I know that it will always continue to do the same." We are so grateful to Becca and all of the teens who donate their time and tremendous wisdom and gifts to Imagine.  It is with gratitude and anticipation that we welcome this latest class of ten.  

Imagine, a grief support center located in Westfield NJ and serving all of Union County and beyond, provides free year-round peer grief support programs for children and teens age 3-18 and young adults 18-30 who are coping with loss due to the death of a parent or sibling and for families where a child or parent is living with a life-altering illness. The program also provides separate support groups for the parents and guardians of the children served.  Support groups meet every other Monday or Tuesday for an hour and a half. Dinner is provided prior to the group meeting.  For information on our support groups contact Imagine at support@imaginenj.org or 908-264-3100.  

Volunteers come from all walks of life and need no special background other than a willingness to listen, a heart inclined to serve, and the ability to be with children and adults in pain without trying to fix, solve or give advice.  No prior experience is necessary.   

The next Imagine Volunteer Adult Facilitator class will be December 5-8, 2014 and the next teen training will be in 2015.   For more information please contact Imagine Program Director at 908-264-3100 or mandi@imaginenj.org or visit our website at www.imaginenj.org

Imagine is a free year-round children’s grief support center that serves NJ children age 3-18 and young adults 18-30 who are grieving the death of a parent or sibling, or who are living with a parent of sibling with a life-altering illness. Imagine also provides grief education and training for thousands of teachers, parents, coaches, youth and other adults annually.  



The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

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