The following is a speech delivered by Intern Denise Hutchison at the 2015 Field Education Awards Breakfast at OSU on Friday, April 23. We, and so many others who work with Michelle, echo Denise's sentiments and thank her for letting us share these kind words.
When I first met our instructor, Michelle, I was amazed at how graceful she was in the way she conducted herself. Michelle wasn’t overbearing, but confident; not condescending, but supportive; not loud, but well spoken. I remember leaving the interview feeling like Michelle was someone who I would be able to learn from and that she would support my growth throughout the semester. I was ecstatic when I accepted my placement at KYC, knowing that I was going to have the opportunity to work with so many amazing professionals and the inspiring youth that visit the center.
Michelle has never stopped short of amazing. She always goes above and beyond empowering the youth. She is constantly talking with them, teaching them new skills, and supporting them when they’ve had a bad day. When someone feels left out, she is the first one to do everything she can to make them feel welcome. Always wearing a warm and caring smile, Michelle makes KYC not only a drop‐in center for LGBTQ youth, but a place they can call home.
One of Michelle’s greatest strengths is being able to empower the youth to advocate for themselves while helping them build strong personal skills. It is obvious that Michelle wants the youth to succeed, to create a community, and to build a center where youth can come to feel safe.
Michelle’s dedication to the center and the youth is admirable. Her presence here is life changing for any youth who comes through the door. It is a privilege to have Michelle as my field instructor. She has taught me to look past a person’s wall to see who they really are on the inside. There have been times when I doubted my skills, and she encouraged me. If you saw Michelle in action, you would see her passion for youth empowerment. She is an exemplary social worker and a respected servant leader. Thank you, Michelle, for your endless dedication to the youth at Kaleidoscope Youth Center and for your boundless guidance.
KYC Youth and Staff. Please feel free to comment and recommend topics for future posts. Youth posts are anonymous due to the confidentiality of the Center.