Influencing Key Decision-Makers Costs Nothing but a Smile!

Hello, my name is Jessica. I’m a junior from Manor High School, and this is my first year in Y Street and my first year on the Leadership Team. Each year in January is Healthy Youth Day. Team members meet with their state legislators to share the important work that Y Street is doing to promote a healthier Virginia. This year, I met with three of my representatives to discuss our campaigns,  Rev Your Bev and Share The Air, and I would like to share my experience with you all!

My experience was memorable, heartwarming, and inspiring! Initially, I was nervous since I thought I would be alone. However, I was accompanied by my Youth Field Organizer (Daniel), another Leadership Team member from Greensville County (Felecia), and a representative from the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth. They all were incredibly supportive. Rather than a presentation, these meetings felt like conversations with equals who care about your input. In meeting with Senator Lucas, Senator Cosgrove, and Delegate Scott I was delighted by their welcoming and positive personalities, and I found common ground with each of them.

I will never forget this experience, and I encourage other Y Street members to participate in key decision-maker meetings; you will have no regrets later on. These meetings are important because we, as a youth-led group, are not only given the opportunity to improve our public speaking skills but influence change within our communities.

To learn more about Y Street, head to ystreet.org.

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