In the Volunteer Spotlight we recognize a Youth Service, Inc. volunteer making an impact in the communities we serve. Chelsea Elam volunteers at Youth Emergency Service.

Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.

I am from Philadelphia and I graduated from Drexel University with a degree in Public Health in 2017. I love to volunteer, especially with children. This love inspired myself and a friend to create our own organization, Melanin Academy, to give back to the children in our community. My ultimate career goal is to become a Certified Nurse Midwife and full spectrum Doula.

Q: How long have you been volunteering at YSI?

I began volunteering with YSI at the end of September with the teens at Youth Emergency Service (YES) and it has been an eye opening experience working with them.

Q: Why did you choose YSI when you were looking for a place to volunteer?

I choose YSI because I fell in love with the mission of the organization. I specifically honed in on the program that helped at risk teens with housing, and provided them with a place that was supportive and pushed them towards continued success. This program also aligned with Melanin Academy because it is our goal to offer support to young people whether it be providing a listening ear, homework help or spending time with them.

Q: Why do you think it is important to volunteer?

It is important to volunteer because  not only is it a way for you to make a difference, but volunteering is also a way to enrich your own life. You get a chance to discover yourself and challenge your mindset every time you offer to serve others. Every time I volunteer I always come out of the experience with meaningful connections and sense of enlightenment.

To nominate a volunteer for our Volunteer Spotlight or if you are interested in becoming a volunteer, please contact us at