Webb is a great example of how ambition and a positive attitude can change lives, and it shows in his passion for working with the youth in his community.
by Efe Tanci“Knowledge is infinite. The world is a big open book. Why not utilize it when you can?” –Malcolm Webb
Malcolm Webb is a great example of how ambition and a positive attitude can change lives, and it shows in his passion for working with the youth in his community. Currently earning a B.A. in Psychology, with a minor in Spanish, and working to apply for a Master of Social Work, he’s taking deliberate steps toward changing not only his own world, but also the world of everyone with whom he comes in contact.
Webb holds social responsibility in high regard, a feeling that derives, he explained, from growing up as the oldest child in a single-parent home. He said he didn’t have many people to look up to, and it was that absence that led him to want to be a role model for the youth he works with now.
Youth Enrichment Services (YES) in Suffolk County gave him that chance over the summer of 2014, when he worked with 10- to 15-year-olds as a social and emotional youth counselor through Adelphi’s Community Fellows Program.
“Developmentally, when [these kids are] younger, we need to help mold them,” Webb said. “I go to these programs and activities and I try to be that bigger brother.”
YES instills positive values in area youth while teaching teamwork and the critical skills needed to develop a healthy lifestyle and promote future success in college, work and life.
“I feel you need a strong support system in whatever you do,” he said. He tried to relate to them on a personal level. “I told them if they’re having a bad day to come talk to me, take a seat, we’d walk around… we made friendships,” he said, noting a common, and disturbing, thread in each of the kids he worked with. “They would always tell me how people thought of them as screwups, but I’d tell them everyone makes mistakes,” Webb said. “We all have responsibilities, we all have things to do. Why look back 10 years from now wishing I’d done something different?”
“I try to guide, teach, learn and tell them my door is always open,” he said, and emphasized that the door remains open. He still stays in touch with a few of the teens he impacted.
“I want everyone to be comfortable, because I know how it feels to be uncomfortable,” he said. He takes that philosophy with him in everything he does, including his work as an assistant track coach for elementary school students and his time as team captain for Adelphi’s STEP dance team.
This internship experience not only illustrates his acute awareness of the future generation, but it’s also an important checkpoint in Webb’s career path. Along with his aspirations to receive a Master of Social Work, he’s begun the process to become a Nassau County police officer. He hopes to combine that work with his studies to better help the youth in his community.
“Knowledge is infinite,” Webb said. “The world is a big open book. Why not utilize it when you can?”This article appeared in the Career Compass Spring 2015 Newsletter.
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