What have you been doing with your life since graduating from Youth2Youth?
I am currently a student at the University of Wisconsin Green Bay. I am a sophomore with a Spanish Major and Education minor, which I will use to become a teacher.
What are you most proud of?
I am most proud of getting to where I am right now, being a college student. It has been a good journey but there were a couple bumps in the road that my family and I had to overcome. My mother always likes to remind me that knowledge cannot be taken, money comes and goes but once you learn something it will always be there. I am proud of my education and being able to use that knowledge to make a difference in the world.
How have skills you learned in Youth2Youth helped you in your life beyond Youth2Youth?
Youth2Youth has taught me how to be an advocate and fight for causes that I really believe in. It has taught me to be patient, that it is a long process to make a change and even though it can get tiring it is worth it in the end. Youth2Youth helped me develop my public speaking skills and showed me that even though it is scary also talking to government officials is important to make a greater change in our communities. Being in this group has also helped be become a leader and I learned how to work with people. At the college I have joined many organizations who’s goals i believe in and even took a leadership position in one of those organizations. I have continued using my advocacy skills to teach the community about important issues.
What advice would you like to give to today’s youth?
Enjoy the time you spend with this group, and learn from it as much you can. People say this often, but time really does go by very quickly. Now that I am in college, I have realized how unique this group is and the great opportunity we have to be teachers in our community. Y2Y has created so much change, because of you and those who came before you fighting for that change. Instead of waiting for someone else to do it, we took initiative to do it ourselves. To make the world a better place, we have to not only educate others but also educate ourselves. I ask you all to learn about other issues and be respectful towards others opinions. Views change throughout the years, sometimes we do not agree with the older generations, and that’s okay, but if we want to see a different future , we have to fight for it. You are all future leaders of your communities and of this country, so by educating yourself and your peers, it creates a more open minded generation that creates a more informed, inclusive community.