What have you been doing with your life since graduating from Youth2Youth?
I attend Northwestern College in Orange City, IA where I study nursing and play softball for the college. I have taken a particular interest in maternal health nursing and pediatrics. I hope to be graduating next May 2017 with a BSN-RN degree. I also went on a missions trip to Haiti, which has changed my perspective.
What are you most proud of?
I am most proud of going outside of my limitations to better myself. I have stepped outside of my comfort zone and moved to another state for college. I believe that I have started the process to break the chain of staying in my hometown. Also, working hard in college to overcome both academic and relationship challenges.
How have skills you learned in Youth2Youth helped you in your life beyond Youth2Youth?
The skills that I learned in Youth2Youth have helped me to inspire children to be better by giving them knowledge of dangers in life other than alcohol and tobacco use. They have helped me to be confident when working with children and get on their level of understanding concepts. The last thing that Youth2Youth skills have taught me is that you can make a difference. You do not have to change the world to make a difference, but you can change a small group of people and watch it expand from there. The sky is the limit.
What advice would you like to give to today’s youth?
The advice I would give to today’s Youth2Youth members is to be different, to be strong willed, and to keep fighting. People will shoot you down or tease you every chance they get, but do not give in! Every decision you make while in the program, and even after, makes a difference. You DO MATTER, and you have the power to make this world a better place to live.