The Student News Site of Black River Falls High School

BRFHS Paw Print

The Student News Site of Black River Falls High School

BRFHS Paw Print

The Student News Site of Black River Falls High School

BRFHS Paw Print

Sweeney Moves on From BLAST

sweeneyAs seniors prepare to go off to college, they must quit their jobs due to college commitments.  Senior Allie Sweeney recently finished her last year working at BLAST.

“I will miss just about everything [at] BLAST,” said Sweeney.  “I will miss always ending my day on a high note.”

Black River Falls Learning After School Time (BLAST) is a program for first through fifth graders who need extra help on homework after school.  For the three years Sweeney has worked at BLAST, she has dealt mainly with fourth and fifth graders, but she has enjoyed all parts of the program.

“I loved that no matter how bad of a day I thought I was having, I could come to BLAST and the students could almost immediately put a smile on my face.  I also loved the people I worked with. Throughout the years I worked with many people who are still some of my best friends and [my] greatest inspirations as I plan to go into the teaching field in the next few years,” said Sweeney.

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However, every job that deals with children comes with a little frustration.

“Of course there were nights when the kids were especially wound up and misbehaving, and that was frustrating sometimes. There were a few nights that I lost my patience with them,” said Sweeney.

While Sweeney worked multiple students, she got to know most of them personally.

“One of the hardest things for me at BLAST was hearing some of the sad stories about what the kids go through in their personal lives. That was probably the hardest part of working there, but [it’s] also pretty inspiring knowing how much they’ve been through and how they still pull through at such a young age,” said Sweeney.

Sweeney also enjoyed many work nights with her co-workers and gained memories that she will never forget.

“One of my favorite memories was from this year, when before a staff meeting, all of the high schoolers started playing with the giant parachute and we ended up just sitting underneath it and we had so much fun,” said Sweeney.

Even though Sweeney was the student-teacher, the children taught her some valuable lessons, too.

“I learned a lot over my three years at BLAST and most of it, I learned from the kids.  I learned to see the good in every single day.  It always amazed me how happy the kids could make me and how easily they could make me laugh, even if I had an awful day.  Another thing they taught me, no matter what you go through, you can’t let it define you.  Some of those kids had gone through terrible things, but they were some of the happiest kids I know,” said Sweeney.

Working at BLAST has taught Sweeney what she wanted to do in the future.

“My first year at BLAST, I didn’t understand why anyone would become a teacher.  I thought that it would be a terrible job!  My second year, about two weeks in, I knew that one day I would be a teacher.  I knew that I loved working with the kids and watching them grow and learn throughout the year,” said Sweeney.

With Sweeney and a few other workers not returning next year, she recommends that people considering a career in education or anything involving children work at BLAST.

“It gives you the opportunity to work with amazing kids and supervisors.  It is so laid back and fun.  Most nights I couldn’t believe that I actually got paid to do all the fun stuff we did,” said Sweeney.

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Sweeney Moves on From BLAST