YES! has been a blessing to me this past year and a half. Not only did it provide me with opportunities to grow my skills and knowledge, it also gave me the chance to leave the office and mingle with people who are truly making a difference for this earth. In true Michelle fashion, this gets a little long so stick with me! A few of the most memorable aspects are as follows.
Planning the various events was extremely rewarding. I started my journey with YES! in the middle of Winter Workshop season and hit the ground running. Even if one recent workshop had gone through 4 dates, 3 locations, 2 tour locations, and 2 caterers, many of which were last minute changes, the stress didn’t matter when I saw the students enjoying their experiences and being positively impacted at the event. I also had fun looking into various environmental topics and making contacts with experts in each field.
The feeling I would get when listening to the Spring Judging presentations is indescribable. There was so much pride and excitement along with awe at what these students have chosen to do with their time. It’s events like these and school visits that truly rekindled my fire as a coordinator. I got to see that the help and resources I provided were making a difference and helping these teams impact their schools, communities, and planet.
It didn’t happen often enough, but I absolutely loved helping the teams work on their projects! Mainly it was assisting with pollinator garden plantings but it was amazing to see the students at work and witness the planning and dedication come together.
I have really struggled to express just what this program and position has meant to me. It has been a savior, an adventure, a challenge, a learning and growing experience, it has continually renewed my passion, and it has given me hope for positive change and that people truly do care. It has led me to amazing relationships and exciting opportunities.
I want to end with a big thank you. Thank you to everyone that I have worked with throughout my time with YES! Thank you to my students. You are the driving force of this program and you are where the magic happens. Thank you to my coaches. You are my engines that keep pulling the projects and students along, giving them every opportunity to reach their potential. Thank you to my co-workers. Even though we rarely physically see each other, I wouldn’t trade you for anyone. You made me laugh and challenged me to work harder. Lastly, thank you to the program’s head haunchos. You built me up and helped me strive to be better. I was welcomed warmly and given every opportunity to expand my experience.
This will hopefully not be the last you see of me and I can’t wait to see what everyone in the program accomplishes in the future! Love to all, Michelle