Hello everyone! My name is Sydney and I am a rising senior at Potomac Senior High School. This is my third year in Y Street and my first year on the Y Street Leadership Team. I came into Y Street scared to use my voice, but I grew as a leader the more I got involved. Also, fellow Y-Sters helped me to feel more comfortable and make it easier.
Y Street gives youth the opportunity to advocate and encourage others to improve their community and lifestyle. As you participate in this organization, you learn how the work you’re doing will not only benefit you but your school and community environment too. Through our Y Street campaigns such as the Share The Air and Rev Your Bev, we have come across opportunities to promote policy change within our school and community. Policy change can create a healthier school and community environment because it can positively influence people’s decisions and actions.
Since joining Y Street, I have promoted policy change for tobacco-free outdoor spaces across Virginia through Share The Air and helping my peers make healthier beverage choices in school through Rev Your Bev. To raise awareness, we have held events during school lunch shifts and even sporting games! Also, in our meetings, we have brainstormed ideas for future Y Street events and key decision-makers we should get in contact with.
Along the way, I have gotten questions and responses like, “Well we’re young, why does it matter right now? We have time.” As a youth, now is the time to work for change. These campaigns could make life better for generations to come. We have to be the change we want to see. Y Street gives us the platform and opportunities to make a difference, become more aware of issues we have the power to change, and better ourselves and our communities.
To learn more about how to become a part of the movement, visit YStreet.org. I hope you take the next step and join Y Street!