HATCH Youth Services Associate Desarie Walwyn blushes a little bit when she admits she had tears on one of her first days with the HATCH youth. She explains that she is a shy person, but it doesn’t take long to see the quiet strength she possesses. Starting a new job is never easy, and Walwyn celebrates her one-year anniversary with HATCH this month.
Walwyn says that at her first HATCH meeting flying solo, she felt what it must be like for young GLBT and Questioning youth to walk through the door their first time. “It’s so important to make the newcomers feel welcome the moment they arrive,” she says. Walwyn was impressed that the youth were so outgoing, not only to their peers but also to her.
Later that evening, they did an activity involving emotions. The youth were asked to pick one word to describe their happiest memory. One young man was withdrawn through the activity, as everyone shared their words and their memories. When it was his turn to express himself, he said, “My word is Des(arie). You’re my best memory. You’re the first person I saw here at HATCH.”
That’s when the emotions welled up in Walwyn’s eyes, spilling a little down her cheek, in awe of her ability to have made such an impact on someone in such a short period of time, especially to that degree.
Walwyn was chosen for the September Employee Spotlight at her other job, also at a nonprofit organization, and we’re not surprised. She is strong willed, organized, passionate and caring. Walwyn says that she has a reputation of having a hard exterior, but the youth won’t ever let her forget the day they made her cry.