YLH Class VI
Going into the YLH program, I did not have an idea of what exactly we would be doing or what would come out of it. All I knew was that I would be making a bunch of new friends and doing good for our community, something I was definitely in for. I was excited to learn early on that we would be working together as a team, rather than doing things separately. From our very first activity together, the retreat, I knew that this would be a year to remember. Right off the bat we were a unit, all cohesive and wanting to reach a common goal. To me, this is important because I feel that the power of a group is far stronger than that of an individual. It would be hard for me to choose my favorite outing we went on. Each day had special aspects that were both rewarding and influential. At places like the Nu Hope Elder Care Center and adult day care we visited, I came out reminded that taking advantage of the time we have while we are young is important, as it does not last forever. After visiting New Testament Church and Mission as well as participating in the Grocery Store Race, I learned that being grateful for our surroundings and what we are fortunate enough to have is a necessity, since there are a large majority of those who are not as blessed. All in all, I have learned that in “little old” Highlands County there are a lot of people who need help, but even more that are willing to lend a hand. By going to these places and learning what they were about we had a better understanding of the good they do for the ones affected by them. This made me even more eager to do all I could to make whatever kind of difference I could, no matter how miniscule. There was no better reward than seeing the smiles on the faces of those we helped. This was the satisfaction that what we were accomplishing really was benefiting our county. This year’s class was not all work and business, however. From looking at racecars at the Sebring International Raceway to eating orange ice cream at Maxwell Groves, this year was full of many laughs and cool experiences. Some of my most fond memories with my fellow members happened not only in the entities we visited, but the bus rides there, in between, and back. Personally, I feel extremely blessed to have been able to participate in such a helpful program. Not only am I coming out of this program with new friends and fun times, but a better understanding of what my area has to offer, which is actually a lot more than I thought. My eyes have most definitely been opened to what exactly goes on in our little part of Florida, and I now feel that I have a new outlook on where I live. Having such feeling makes me feel both grateful and glad to have been chosen those many months ago for this opportunity, and could not be more thankful.