The Youth Leadership training that I attended showed me the severity of the problems our communities face, like the opioid epidemic that affects people across the country. However, those meetings didn’t just point out problems - they taught me valuable ways to help fix them. Each meeting I went to showed me the amount of people who are passionate about finding solutions, and how many valuable resources I have to make a change in my community. When we talk about these issues, however, it is so important to realize who they affect the most. By having open minds to the opinions of youth in affected communities, we can find the root of these problems and take bigger strides towards a solution.
Having the help and opinions of my peers along with the unwavering support of so many different organizations helps so much along the way. It really made me want to step up to the challenge and work with people to find ways to better the places we live. Working with CADCA and our local coalitions opened my eyes and helped me learn not only how to better myself, but better my entire community. By collaborating with my peers, I became more informed about peoples’ experiences and opinions, became open to other ideas, and I was able to delegate tasks and work with others on developing ideas. In fact, before I attended this training, I struggled to work in groups because of my constant perfectionism! But now that I’ve made such an amazing group of friends, it’s hard to imagine how I could ever handle something of such large scale on my own. I’ve discovered that it’s not only important to step up to the plate yourself, but to help others get there, and let others help you.
With what I’ve learned from the Youth Leadership trainings, I am determined to help as many other people as I can. With my peers, we will spread the word and the confidence to lead, thanks to these trainings. The more leaders we create in our schools, the more kids that will grow up to be strong, well-rounded people in their future. Even talking to elementary schools can provide opportunities to young people to make their own good choices. I personally don’t believe that saving one life is enough for us. We should work with as many people as possible to make a large-scale change in these kids’ lives. Seizing the amazing Mid-Year opportunity that is given to every single person that is here in Atlanta is the first step on a life changing journey of helping others, working together with our peers and truly knowing what it means to be a leader. Because a boss can tell you where to go, but a leader is the one who helps bring you there.