My name is Reuben L. I am a senior at Colonial Forge High School. This is my first year
as a member of Y Street. So far this year, I was able to reach out to multiple students
about the importance of tobacco-free public spaces through the Share The Air
campaign. I believe that everyone should have a public space that is free from harmful
products. Second-hand smoking is a lot worse than smoking, in my opinion. Being able
to participate in a movement that makes a difference in my community means a lot to
Virginia Healthy Youth Day was held in Richmond, the state capital. I came to this event
with high expectations and it is safe to say that I left no stones unturned. I walked into a
room filled with Y-Sters who had so much love for their communities. I saw myself in
each and every one of them. We all had this enormous connection that is truly
unexplainable. Spending a day with people who share similar interests was absolutely
amazing. Through this event, I was able to interact with some very influential people.
Never in my life would I have dreamt about having breakfast with delegates and
senators. We talked about life after high school and I also got great advice from people I
aspire to be like in the future. The whole day was surreal! For once I regret being a
senior because that means I only get to participate this year. Even though this is sad, it
has taught me to cherish the moments I have in front of me right now.
I have always wanted to be a catalyst for change. I have always wanted to be a part of a
movement greater than myself. Joining Y Street was the best decision I have ever
made! It has given me this amazing opportunity to positively affect my community. The
future is bright as a Y-Ster because, with every step we take, we embark on a journey to
be catalysts of change, making a difference every step of the way.