I am Kiarah Cannady, a current sophomore studying Therapeutic Recreation at Temple University. As most college students, my career aspirations have definitely changed since arriving here at Temple. Since I can remember, I have always dreamed of becoming a teacher. I love both math and working with youth so, I figured why not a math teacher. After recent budget cuts and a lessened job opportunities within the Philadelphia School District I began looking into other career paths. Holding onto my dream of working with inner-city Philadelphia youth but perhaps just in a different setting.

Since working with the Philadelphia Youth Network Youth Ambassador Program, I have gained knowledge on the needs of many inner-city youth. One of their greatest needs is the ability to express themselves through different leisure activities. I strongly believe this opportunity needs to be given to these young people; as I attest much of my success socially and academically to the different programs I participated in growing up. Whether it was soccer camp or silk screening class I was given outlets to express and heal myself. I want to give the youth of Philadelphia the same happiness I received from, the various programs I participated in growing up. That is why after much thought I have decided to declare my major in Therapeutic Recreation. I believe I can affect the lives of inner-city youth to the same degree if not more with Therapeutic Recreation than I would have as an educator.

Professionally, my ultimate dream is to work with juvenile adolescents who are detained in various facilities here in Philadelphia. I think a lot of times the attitudes towards individuals in prison, especially youth are extremely pessimistic. After working with incarcerated youth two summers ago I learned that many of them are incredibly bright. Additionally despite their past mistakes they are still young people. Young people that like to do things that arouse their creativity and competitiveness. These are two things I always promised myself would be included in my classroom, lucky for me there is plenty of room for these things within my new career choice!