This post is part of the series “Beyond YGL,” where we learn how alumni of our Youth Global Leadership program are creating positive change locally and globally!
I came to YGL on a whim, a little late in the game, and with no idea what to expect. A special shout-out goes to Rachel Moline for introducing me to what would be, and still is, a wonderful experience and a great group of young women. For me, high school, with its ups and downs, was never the most nurturing environment for personal growth and opportunities to learn about oneself. I found that in Philanthropiece’s Youth Global Leadership Program.
With the start of college I was a little hesitant to get involved with non-profits, volunteer or even meet new people. I had moved over 800 miles away from everything and everybody I knew, and was using up all my energy socializing on campus. I soon, however, was introduced to a group that does art with autistic young adults. I found myself returning week after week making close friends, learning more about a topic I knew little about and creating art along the way (find out more about the program at here). I felt right at home, and I have YGL’s experiences to thank for teaching me to carry an open mind and willing heart wherever I go.
Second semester came before I knew it and I was again graced with the amazing opportunity to get involved in the community. I spent my weekends at local farmer’s markets and fairs with Budding Farmer’s Inc. as part of an internship. Being a new business, I helped the husband and wife team as they furthered their passion of bringing agricultural education to kids (you can read a little bit about them here).
As summer comes to an end and another school year starts I encourage you (as well as myself) to take steps towards finding a passion and getting involved in the world we live in. Who knows what you’ll find next!
Laura Whitaker graduated from Fairview High School in 2012. She currently is a student at St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN where she is studying Studio Art with a concentration in Management Studies.