No one could contest the feelings of lackluster motivation instilled upon me the moment I was drawn from the comfort of my bed and forced to partake in a leadership program I had never been informed of before. Having the INFP personality, I was already withdrawn into “hermit mode,” but was forcefully dragged from my comfort zone to confront reality and combat my insecurities that never ceased to haunt me.
My first day at YIA reminded me of school: I imagined my childhood and the humiliation I endured, my sister whose life dangled at the surgeon’s hand, and internal scars that left me speechless in front of others. Yet, despite all my twists and turns in my journey to just be able to cope with the pain of my past, Youth in Action gave me an opportunity to become a student leader: an opportunity I doubted but took because I had nothing to lose.
It symbolized a fresh start, an opportunity to begin anew and experience the wonders of life I had never explored. The presence of nonjudgmental eyes, the presence of a safe environment, and the presence of caring counselors, staff, and students was able to tap in to my inner flame of passion that I knew I could do better. With the leadership opportunity, I was able to build up my courage and confidence from scratch, build up my desire and motivation to serve others from nothing to an unquenchable thirst, and build up leadership skills to be able to cooperate and interact with others to reach our goals.
My first-time volunteering at the homeless ministry opened my eyes. Despite their circumstances, they smiled and were extremely grateful when we served them which reminded me of my spoiled generation: in which instant gratification is seen as a necessity. I thought about how lucky I was that I had a home and caring family; yet the homeless people seemed to possess more humanity than any other people I have met. Their compassion and kindness towards one another warmed my heart, as serving others became a desire instead of just mere volunteer hours on a resume.
I channeled this energy and passion to give back to the community, as I needed to ensure the ideal that everyone is a part of the community. By neglecting others, we only undermine ourselves and future generations to come. I learned that just one hour of volunteering, can make all the difference in one’s life. By building each other up, we set the precedent for future generations that the community we live in should be close knit and no one should be left behind. I will continue to apply this knowledge to myself by continuing to serve others in my future: no matter my schedule I will always find time to serve others.
Joining Youth in Action was a life changing experience for me, as I experienced a rapid transformation into a better person and leader. I learned to apply the skills I acquired from YIA and will continue to do so in my future. Making a difference in the community through service had never appealed to me before, as it now is a desire and need: my transformation from an empty slate to a passionate and curious young adult a result from the experience and life lessons I obtained throughout my 3 sessions in YIA.
動感青年的第一堂課讓我想起學校 : 小時候所受到的羞辱、生命徘徊在手術刀下的妹妹、和內心的,創傷，令我不敢在別人面前講話。但是，在克服痛苦的這條迂迴曲折的路上，動感青年給了我一個成為學生領袖的機會，一個自己有所保留，卻抓著的機會，因為我根本不會有任何損失。