This week marks my 12th year being involved with LMTI, my 9th year going to camp, and my 3rd and final year going as a YAC (Youth Advisory Council) Coordinator.
I have a lot of feelings about this, apparently.
I didn’t think that I did, until I was driving up the Parkway through the Meadowlands to the last YAC training. I thought about all of the adult volunteers, peers, and young adult leaders that I’ve worked with in the last three years.
I was surprised by the rush of feelings. LMTI means very much to me — personally and as an organization. I started volunteering because I wanted to empower young adults in the way that I received encouragement and strength as a teenager. I am a librarian today because I had adult co-workers in my high school job who spoke to and respected me like an adult. If I could encourage a young adult in that way wouldn’t that be cool? I didn’t give a thought to myself maybe learning something in the exchange.
But looking across the Meadowlands to the NYC horizon I thought about how much I had changed over the last 3 years with working with some of New Jersey student leaders — how much listening to their stories, opinions, and thoughts had changed me.
Respect and listening are beautiful things.
This month I had to make some hard decisions about my role with my action group and what I wanted for them and myself. We’re not sure about the future, but where there is passion there is possibility.
Thank you, past buds, present buds, and future buds – for everything.