My name is Elana W. I attend Charlottesville High school, and I am in the eleventh
Grade. This is my first year in Y Street. I was introduced to Y Street through my school. Every morning I receive announcements from my school. There are many times when I do not come across something that applies to me or catches my eye. I came across the Y Street training announcement and it asked me if I wanted to learn leadership skills and I was immediately sold! I was also very excited to learn how to enhance my social interaction with others, as I did not know what the audience for this opportunity would look like.
When everyone arrived, Jonathan and Gabby did a few activities to help us get to know each other and to feel more like a community. All of us students took a pre-training survey about the issues that would be covered. I honestly felt really happy to take the survey because it made me feel like my opinion mattered. We did a few more activities to help us have a better understanding of the issues and campaigns. For me, the activities helped me better understand what was being explained. Later on in the training, we were given the assignment to go survey our peers during lunch time on the campaigns learned in the training. When I first received the packet of surveys my heart skipped a beat, as I was nervous. However, passing out surveys turned out to be my favorite part! It allowed me to see how interested and excited others were to know that their voice matters.
Y Street was an unexpected experiment. From this experience I learned that I can use my voice. It benefited me and my fellow Y-Sters by challenging us to learn something new. Society creates boxes and it is easy to think you should not be different. If Y Street is new to you and you are interested, it is for you! Coming into this training you can expect to feel more confident about those thoughts ringing in your mind that you never address. Your voice deserves to be heard and you should join Y Street to learn how to do so!