I have been a Y kid for a long time starting with summer camp at Camp Whittle, but my real Y story begins with Youth & Government. I began CalYMCA's Youth & Government program as an eighth grader in Model United Nations. After discovering my passion for speaking and advocating for issues that I cared about, I continued to participate in Model UN's similar to the Y's when I moved abroad for two years. As soon as I moved back to California, I put it at the top of my priorities list to do Model Legislature & Court. After joining my delegation, I learned about the backstage aspects of government in a hands-on way that no government class could ever teach me, and I learned about myself as a leader and role model. At the end of the year, I worked up the courage to run to be chaplain of my delegation, but I lost the election. The loss was for the best, as I had the opportunity to run statewide for Lieutenant Governor. Although I lost that election as well, I had the privelege of being able to speak in front of 3,000 of my peers, learning to run a campaign, and talking to delegates that I had never met before. Now, I can confidently say that the best version of myself, my closest friends, and my passions were all found in Y&G.
Y&G is an amazing program, but it is expensive. Some delegates are forunate enough to receive scholarships for their tuitions, but there are so many smart young people that do not receive scholarships. These students deserve a chance to meet new friends, to discover their passions, and to become their best selves through Y&G. A donation of even just $5 would contribute to covering a future delegate's tuition for this one-of-a-kind program. Thank you so much for all of your support.