Week 5?! Holy smokes, times is flying by! This week has been just as eventful as any other with maybe a pinch more of anxiety. We are officially wrapping up all that is after-school programming, including the newsletter, which I created and am completely in love with. With that done, we’re gearing up for our 6th annual Youth Summit and everything was running smooth until guess what? Ding, ding, you got it: something went wrong. This summer we are hoping to host the Summit at Ohio Dominican, as we did last year. It was a great fit because the campus allowed us to bring our own food, which is a must. The diversity of our youth and staff is far beyond boxed lunches and University catering (despite how hard they try to follow a recipe). This event is a celebration of the youth and their identity through music, art, dance and most importantly food. Food is such an essential part of every cultural and I can’t stress that enough.
Well this is where the problem occurred. The new events coordinator for ODU emails us Wednesday, explaining the campus policy does not allow outside food. *Heavy eye roll* I understand the woman is doing her job and is brand-new but I’ve already put heavy emphasis on the importance of food at this event. Anywho, we’ve been in contact with others at the University and fingers crossed we receive good news soon! By the way, all of this is happening Brittany ‘s (Youth Program Manager) last week before she leaves for San Francisco, to leave to Cambodia for 2 years! Needless to say, I’ve been a little worried about planning this without her, but she’s left me a ton of resources, including everyone in the office :). I’ve even searched out a park we can end the celebration in and eat lunch if worse comes to worse. The biggest lesson I’ve taken away from working these past 5 week is, absolutely nothing goes according to plan. But that fact is really the only thing you can bet on. Learning how to roll with the punches and improvise is a necessity when working for non-profits, and it’s half the fun!
As we all know good comes with bad, so the bad news with the food situation at ODU, resulted in good news from a food situation with me! This week’s lunch was Ethiopian! Peep the picture below from Lalibela. It was delicious and filled me up for the rest of day. I also cannot forget, before we went to Lalibela, I was able to visit the East site! There I was able to meet with older youth, volunteers or interns the site coordinator recommended for the Youth Board. This Summit’s theme is “Youth Voices Matter” so what better way to show this than creating a Youth Board at every site? This week and most of next I will be traveling to the sites meeting the different Youth Boards and explaining their responsibilities and getting their input for this year’s Summit. I truly believe these youth are going to be my greatest resource when it comes to planning an event everyone will love. I’m uber (no not the app) excited to meet all of them and begin working! August 5th is right around the corner and I can feel it sneaking up!