Hello! My name is Ayla, and I am a freshman at King George High School. This is my first year with Y Street and it has been a great experience so far. I first heard about Y Street from my morning announcements, and I became instantly interested. Y Street is a youth-led organization where high schoolers come together and help to make Virginia a healthier place.
The moment I stepped in the door at the welcome session held at my school Zoe, a Y Street Youth Field Organizer (YFO), welcomed me warmly. I immediately felt like I was in the right place and I was appreciated for being there. Zoe discussed the mission of Y Street and how to become a part of it. She was super fun, interactive, and kind. I left the session with a huge smile and the determination to join and help out in my school and community.
My training for Y Street started with a Training Kick-Off session where I learned more about the program. My next steps involved training with Y Street’s easy-to-use, interactive training modules, and a training project where I got to collect surveys on Y Street’s two campaigns, Rev Your Bev and Share The Air. At last, I was a member of Y Street and could start helping right away! I went to another quick zoom welcome meeting where I further learned about how to set up and use my volunteer account on their website. I enjoyed how welcoming everyone was during this session because it helped me feel a part of the team. The whole training process was fun. I never lost interest while doing it, and I really enjoyed the chance to learn more about issues in our community. One of the most interesting things that I learned during training for the Share The Air campaign, which focuses on creating clean and healthy outdoor spaces, was that tobacco products are the most littered item in the nation, consisting of 40% of all litter. I also learned about the dangers of secondhand smoke exposure. For Y Street’s other campaign, Rev Your Bev, I found out how important drinking water is and the impact of having too many sugary drinks. All of these facts really interested me and drove me to want to take action.
Now that I am a fully activated Y Street member, I am most excited about creating meaningful change through fun opportunities like helping to run booths, organizing school events, and presenting to decision-makers. I want to be involved in as many projects and opportunities offered by Y Street as I can.
I highly recommend joining Y Street as it is a great experience with many benefits. Interested in joining? It’s not too late. Go NOW to my.ystreet.org/apply to get trained and join the #YStreetMovement.