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August 17, 2011

Coming Full Circle: Soulpepper Youth Outreach – Daniel Kim

Daniel Kim was a participant in Soulpepper’s Youth Mentorship Program in 2001. Ten years later, he applied for an internship in Soulpepper’s Education Department. His passion for arts education and youth, and a strong desire to continue his association with Soulpepper made him an ideal fit for this position. This summer, Daniel has been an integral part our activities and we are thrilled to have him with us.

– Farwah Gheewala, Education Manager

Daniel Kim
Coming back to Soulpepper Theatre Company after all these years has been a surreal experience. Like returning to an old hometown you grew up in long ago, the sights and sounds may have changed but its essence and soul is all so familiar; and like tender memories, it is warm and inviting. I reflect upon how much I have changed and grown in the years since, and it makes me happy to see how much Soulpepper and its outreach programming have evolved and expanded along the way. For me, it has been the ultimate joyride continuing this relationship 10 years later.

It is now August, and I cannot believe we are halfway through the summer months already. As an Education Intern, I have served as an administrative support for our Youth Outreach department. While my specific job description and responsibilities have grown throughout my season here with the company, I still have a silly time detailing the specifics of my day-to-day activities.

I have organized spreadsheets of information, made updates to our program postings and documents, written and responded to a fair assortment of e-mails and made numerous phone calls. It has been an incredible learning experience, helping with the planning and organization of Soulpepper’s multitude of youth oriented programs.

To this day, I still can’t believe that all of this relies on the stewardship and dedication of two phenomenally passionate ladies, Farwah Gheewala and Molly Gardner (and the overseeing care of Claire Sakaki). They will credit the total team effort of our entire company of course, but I still shake my head in wonder.

Being a part of the Youth Mentorship Program changed me. It challenged me, dared me to open my eyes wider; to be more inquisitive, generous, creative and bolder than I was before.

Fast-forward 10 years. I am now a growing arts educator, passionate about working with youth of all different ages. Joining Soulpepper’s education initiatives and reigniting that long-lost relationship this summer has been my greatest joy and privilege. Not only have I gained invaluable experiences in administrative organization and behind the scenes planning, I have been blessed to watch a whole new generation of young talent learning and growing together in both the Youth Mentorship Program as well as the Youth Leadership Program.

Soulpepper positively influenced and shaped my young life as an artist, and even after 10 years I could still see its lasting effects in my life. I want to thank the Soulpepper family for making this place feel like another home, even for just another summer.

Click here >> for more information about our Youth Outreach programs.