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In the late 1970s, the Village People sang loudly and proudly about how fun it is to stay at the Y.M.C.A. Today, teens don’t have the option of “staying” at the Y, but there are plenty of activities to keep them busy at the Y. In addition, some have decided to take it one step further by working at the Y.
Those who have lived in the small community that is Los Alamos for a while, have probably heard the term, “youth mobilizer.” But those who aren’t familiar with the group have most likely been confused about what it means.
When first entering the Youth Mobilizer office, visitors encounter five seemingly laid-back teenagers: Anna Pabian, Sarah Park, K.J. Juarez, Myles Gurule and Cydney Remelius. Though each possess different qualities, they all somehow contribute to the atmosphere as a whole.
What happens in that office remains a mystery for some. When asked what the community should know about the Mobilizers, Park, the easy-going, dark-haired sophomore answered, “We work every day to make the teen society better.”
One might ask, “how so?” and Remelius would quickly respond with, “Time with a Topper! We aim to help younger kids make wise and unregrettable decisions in high school.”
This might sound great, but if the meaning is still unclear, Gurule is there to help. He describes Time with a Topper as a “program in which high-schoolers visit the middle school and elementary schools in order to talk about issues that await them in the future.” The group approaches topics such as the choices they must make when it comes to alcohol, drugs, sex and friendships; choices every teenager is faced with sooner or later.
Other achievements of the Mobilizers are programs such as Senior Sidekicks, where a senior is paired up with a freshman in order to form a strong friendship and provide a support system for fresh high-schoolers, and ’Topper Talk, LAHS’ newspaper, led by Pabian.
“I am the chief editor of ’Topper Talk and I am extremely proud of it,” she said.
Juarez, who will graduate this year, regards the entire Youth Mobilizer experience as “incredibly rewarding” and said applying for the job was “one of the best decisions made throughout high school.”
When asked about the workplace atmosphere, the teens have only words of satisfaction. Fun, wonderful, comfortable, mellow and chipper were some of the words the Mobilizers used to explain the workplace. Park said, “I love this job. Indeed.”