UC Alumna Asia Carnes Makes a Difference in Community by Working with Homeless Youth
2 mins read

UC Alumna Asia Carnes Makes a Difference in Community by Working with Homeless Youth

One of UpSpring’s main goals is to give children the opportunity to experience things they might not otherwise experience. UpSpring hosts a summer camp every year from June to July. Their camp includes a period of learning where children work on math and reading, as well as a period of play where they can learn sports or play games with friends. However, UpSpring understands that most of these children do not have the same experiences as many children their age, so by doing something extra, they can still provide these children with experiences that will last a lifetime.

“We take them on a field trip every Friday. What’s crazy is a lot of these kids are from Cincinnati, but because they’re homeless, they’ve never been to a place like Kings Island. So one of our biggest goals is we want to take these kids to places they can’t afford to go.”

But perhaps the greatest service UpSpring offers is support for mental well-being. Many of these children are too young to understand the emotions and struggles they face. According to the Mental Health Foundation, 50% of mental health issues are revealed by the age of 14. UpSpring wants to give these children real, practical ways to stay calm when emotions get too strong.

“One of our teaching blocks focuses on social-emotional learning. That’s where we talk about coping mechanisms, how we can calm down when we’re feeling overwhelmed, scared, things like that. We recognize that homeless youth are a group that needs the most help with their social and emotional well-being.”

These experiences have created many unforgettable memories for Carnes, cementing a path for the rest of her life. She loves the community she grew up in and looks forward to continuing to serve it.

“I am super happy that I was able to go to UC because of all the experiences and everything that happened to me. It all started with my decision to go to UC.

“I love my job. I’ll never leave it. Working with young people is one thing, but working with young people who are in need completely changes the way you think. I really feel like I’m doing meaningful work.”

Featured image top: Hands in a circle of unity. Source/Hannah Busing on Unsplash.