Volunteer Spotlight: John Lee McNair

John Lee (bottom left) being silly with fellow staff at GTI.

John Lee (bottom left) being silly with fellow staff at GTI.

Georgia Teen Institute (GTI), like all of our programs, could not run without the incredible volunteers who support us. John Lee is one of the fantastic Adult Advisors who has participated in GTI in various capacities, and each year he makes more of a positive impact. John Lee heard about Georgia Teen Institute through his agency, the Catoosa Prevention Initiative. His supervisor was looking for someone to bring a group of high school students to a summer camp, and he stepped up to the plate. He has not looked back. He has been the fantastic Adult Advisor for the Dual County Defenders ever since. This year will be John Lee’s third summer attending GTI, and he is already doing great things for the program. All of the general sessions will be planned by John Lee and it is sure to be an exciting week, full of high quality entertainment and fun!

When John Lee was asked about his favorite GTI memory, he shared that in 2013 he had a Family Group that bonded instantly. By the last day, their connection was very close; it was a little emotional for the group members to wrap up the final activity. This event stuck out to John Lee because it showed him how big of an impact he could have on a youth’s life in a matter of a few short days. This event and his passion for working with youth is what brings him back to GTI year after year.

GTI is forever thankful for John Lee because he truly has a passion for working with youth. He strongly believes that there are not enough examples of good role models and positive influences for them, and he tries to be that in the lives of the young people he works with. GTI helps fill the gap that many young people have, and John Lee is a true example of a positive role model in his community. John Lee couldn’t pick just one volunteer activity he enjoyed the most because each one has allowed him the opportunity to talk to youth one on one. This interaction allows for a better understanding of where the youth are coming from and how he can help them.

Attending GTI has had a positive impact in John Lee’s professional life, too. It has allowed him to add many tools to his toolbox, including methods to teach in classrooms and facilitate with his Youth Action Team. He uses many of the activities and methods to implement in his workplace to help make him be more effective in his career. Some of his favorite activities are Shake Down and using the Caboodle Cards.

John Lee encourages anyone to attend GTI because “this is an opportunity for you to step out of your comfort zone and expand your leadership skills. It is a chance for you to learn from the very people you are trying to reach. It is the best two week family reunion you will ever experience.”

To join John Lee and other incredible volunteers from across the state, submit your 2014 Georgia Teen Institute Volunteer application by April 1. Download your application today and “Make It Matter” to the youth in your community.

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