It’s almost May, which means summer is on the horizon. I’ve been accepted to college (Go Hawks!), my senior prom is next week, and now I’m just kind of wondering what’s next. Looking back, I realize how great my high school years have been. In 10th grade I joined A Woman’s Place (AWP) Young Adult Advisory Board (YAAB). YAAB i s a group of teens dedicated to helping AWP raise awareness about dating violence and work toward a safer Bucks County. YAAB has taught me that I’m capable of almost anything – including decorating for a Dance Marathon and finding enough food for the 150 runners who participated in our Walk to Empower & 5K, that is held every October – it has also introduced me to domestic violence survivors like Patsy, an 85-yr.-old woman who bravely shared her story at one of our YAAB meetings.
YAAB has also taught me that even small groups like us can have a big impact.This weekend, April 26 -28, 2013, our group will be part of a worldwide movement as we join millions of youth in over 100 countries who recognize Global Youth Service Day (GYSD). Founded in 1988 to celebrate young people’s involvement in the community, GYSD is an opportunity for us to give back to, and show respect for, our community. I learned from Patsy that only a relationship built on respect can outlast any gray and rainy weather, and I’ve learned from AWP that only a community built on respect can truly flourish. In honor of GYSD this year, we’ve taken on two causes: the environment and pediatric cancer. Last Saturday, six of us donned orange vests and picked up litter on Almshouse Rd. to do our small part for the environment. Today we are assembling a summer-themed “kare” package benefiting local pediatric cancer organization Kisses for Kyle to support a family dealing with the difficult reality of cancer.
As my final days of high school near I want to share my gratitude with everyone who helped make me who I am today. I am thankful for my awesome friend Rebecca who introduced me to YAAB (and who will be joining me at St. Joseph’s University this fall…SQUEAL!) and Christina Baer, AWP’s Education & Training Manager, who has been an amazing supervisor. I have had three great years with this organization, and these are the memories I will hang on to, come rain or shine.
Kellly, YAAB Volunteer