Teen Face: Ukiah teen lauded for patience, dedication with kids

  • Sandra Gates of Ukiah, Thursday July 31, 2014. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2014

Sandra Gates is calm amid the whirlwind of activity generated by nearly 100 children, some chattering, others running despite being warned it’s against the rules.

“Walking, Kaylee,” she gently but firmly reminds a child.

It’s a typical day for the summer program operated by the Ukiah Boys and Girls Club at the Alex Rorabaugh Recreation Center on South State Street, where Gates, a 16-year-old Ukiah High School student, volunteers.

“Usually the kids are really active all day,” she said.

The Boys and Girls Club offers a variety of activities at the recreation center, which has a gymnasium and separate rooms in which children can read, watch movies or play with toys and video games from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on weekdays.

Gates has been volunteering at the center for two years.

“I love volunteering. I’ve always loved kids,” she said.

She has an apparent knack for keeping them in line without getting flustered.

“Kids aren’t as complicated as you’d think,” Gates said.

Her dedication and competence has won her praise from the program’s overseers.

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