Corey James

Friend / Professional Mentor / Team Lead

Corey is one of four kids and was really close with his extended family growing up. Finding comfort with kid energy led him to a long career in youth development. Over the years he’s learned that most kids just really want to be heard and validated by a grown up. For Corey, it’s about more than just the kids on his roster. “I take pride in knowing everyone in my youths’ lives. I build trust with classmates, siblings, neighbors. Being a familiar face is important and feels great.”

Corey rises to the challenge with the kids that are particularly hard to reach. Matching their language and passions, showing they’re important to him, has allowed him to find communication pathways with them. “I just had a talk with one of my youth about anger management, how we all deal with it and how it’s detrimental to let anger control us. It was a big breakthrough that was truly heard because i was being genuine, they see that and relate to it.”

Corey hit his 5 year anniversary this month, a huge milestone for a Friend. As he reflects on the last 5 years, he knows that finding something that brings you meaning and purpose is better than just picking a random job that you could do. “Striving to be great at something and continually working on yourself is what motivates me. Even after 5 years I’m excited to continue to learn what will push me to be better, what will allow me to challenge the youth I influence in new ways.

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