Celebrate Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week

Celebrate Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week

Since December 2023, I've been involved with PYCA (Phoenix Youth Circus Arts), an afterschool program that teaches children circus and flow arts. As someone passionate about working with young people, I find PYCA to be one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life.

As we approach Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week (APAW) from April 22-26, I'd like to take a moment to recognize, appreciate, and advocate for all the dedicated afterschool professionals who work tirelessly to make a positive difference in young people's lives.

At PYCA, I primarily teach hoops, stilts, and poi. But more than that, I strive to emphasize the importance of bodily autonomy, emotional regulation, and empathy towards peers and coaches. These are essential life skills that can help children not just in their circus performances but in all aspects of their lives.

I'm so proud of all my students at PYCA. They've shown incredible dedication and perseverance, and it's been excellent watching them grow and develop their skills. But more than that, seeing them become kinder, more empathetic, and more confident individuals has been inspiring.

As we celebrate Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week, more people will recognize and appreciate the vital work that afterschool professionals do every day. I also hope that more young people will have the opportunity to experience the transformative programs that PYCA offers.
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