MEET THE TEAM: Mitchell Remembers Inner Child For KidsCare Job

MEET THE TEAM: Mitchell Remembers Inner Child For KidsCare Job

MEET THE TEAM: Mitchell Remembers Inner Child For KidsCare Job

There’s something inspiring about how easy Dom Mitchell makes working with kids look.

The KidsCare supervisor for the Pinewood, Riverview and Eastwood Elementary School locations has spent his summer days at Camp Koda, helping run programs to keep the kids busy.

Mitchell started his career working with youth about a year and a half ago. He said he didn’t set out to work with kids, but found it’s where his heart lies.

“I was an audio engineer and traveled a lot. If I’m being honest, I was changed by a Bible verse. James 1:27 says ‘to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.’ Each kid is orphaned in their own way. It really sparked something in me to want to work with kids,” he said.

Mitchell said when he invests in kids, it reminds him not to take life so seriously.

“In doing so, it brings more joy to the things that might not be so joyful. It only takes one person to be a positive influence in a child’s life —  to change the whole trajectory of their life,” he said.

Mitchell said the adult mentors in his life opened many doors when he was younger.

“I would not be me if it weren’t for a father figure, coaches, people investing in me. They helped me find things that I didn’t even know I would enjoy until I was shown it,” he said.

His father was a drummer and he also had a coach who played drums. Because of their influence, it helped him realize a love for that, and he still uses those skills every day.

“This is the cool part about it. It didn’t just turn into a love of the one thing they showed me, but it expanded into other areas like poetry and things that were ignited by that spark,” Mitchell said.

The kids he works with teach him as much as he influences them. Mitchell said adults can learn a lot from how they handle tough situations.

“Kids have this ability to be frustrated with someone and a few minutes later they are welcoming that person to join them in whatever they are doing. As adults, we wouldn’t talk to that person for 20 years,” he joked.

Mitchell said he is proud of the contribution the KidsCare staff makes to the community and said it’s a unique organization because of the constant involvement they have with the kids.

“Not only do we get sleepy kids early in the morning, but we get them in the afternoon when they’re wound up after a long day at school. We are the consistent people in their lives throughout that day,” he said.

He said to connect with the kids, he taps into his inner child.

“They’ve done studies that kids learn the best through play. They retain more while playing. If we as adults are always serious, were only giving them a fraction of what we can give them,” Mitchell said.

He said a child can not play and have fear at the same time. So, being joyful around the kids establishes a level of trust.

“If you’re always yelling, they don’t want to come around you. If you’re playing with them and they want to come around, they understand those times when you have to discipline.”