Sunday, September 16, 2012

The first two weeks

"We can pledge that whenever one person speaks out in ignorance and bigotry, ten voices will answer. They will answer resoundingly against the offense and the insult; answering ignorance with enlightenment; answering hatred with understanding; answering darkness with light." -Hillary Clinton

These were the words posted on our church bulletin today and I felt like they were the perfect words to start off my blog post. For me I felt like they defined what this year is and hopefully the rest of my life will be all about - working to make the world a better place.  While this may seem like a loft goal for one year, I think it is achievable because even just by changing one policy to help one group, we have helped make the world a better place than we found it.

We have now been in this Young Adult Service Community Program for two weeks and at our work sites for one week and it has felt like we have already been here a month because so much has happened. I don't want to bore you with all of the details so I will just touch on some of the highlights. One of the big highlights of the program so far has been something that took place our very first day here. On move-in day, I was walking into the church, trying to find our apartment and all of the sudden I was pulled in as an extra into a music video for Macklemore's song "Same Love". It was being filmed in All Pilgrims, the church we are living in, and it was quite the exciting introduction into the program and our new living space. We were then extras in the night reception scene as well. They will have to cut a lot of footage so we will see if we end up in the final video but we will be sure to post it on the blog once it comes out.

Another highlight of the program was the march for the airport worker's rights that Jenn talked about in the previous post. I learned the hard way not to wear heals for a 1/2 mile long march but other than that it was a really powerful experience.  I hope that eventually we are able to help the workers get medical benefits, safe working conditions, and a living wage so that they are able to support their families.

All of that took place during orientation plus site visits and get-to-know-you happy hours and much more. However, the last week we have spent getting "oriented" at our work sites, though I would say mine has been less orientation and more just experiencing everything about my placement site, Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness, which has been really exciting! My favorite part of the past week at work was the first two days which were a Youth Summit. On the first day of the Youth Summit we sat down with youth and young adults who had either previously been homeless or are still homeless and we talked with them about issues that are important to their daily survival and what they think should be changed. Then on the second day we took the youth and young adults to City Hall to meet with Seattle City Council Members to express their concerns and what they thought should be done. I went with a group who talked to Council Member Sally Bagshaw about shelters and it was a very positive and inspirational experience for everyone involved. She listened to the youth and was very supportive of the ideas that they brought to the table. It was so amazing to see the energy and passion of these youth and also to see advocacy at work for the first time! It made me really excited for our advocacy day in Olympia in the winter!

As you can see the past two weeks have been pretty busy with a lot of "newness" but we've also been having a great time and I'm really excited to see where this program takes me!


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