YES! Coordinator Sarah Gainey bids farewell to YES! as her last day was June 30. We have been fortunate to have Sarah as a part of our staff and wish her the best with her future adventures. Sarah reflected on her time with YES! and shared the following:
‘It’s about leaving a legacy.’ As I listened to a middle school student during the recent Spring Judging give this as the reason why he feels other students should be involved in the YES! program, it helped to solidify in my mind why this program is important. I feel involvement in a program such as YES! gives students an outlet for their passions and ideas on how to better their schools and communities. It fosters a mentor relationship between coaches and their students to allow for additional learning opportunities outside the regular classrooms. It also empowers students to dream big, reach far, and accomplish great things. All of this while helping students as young as middle school already think about what kind of legacy they are leaving on our earth. Pretty remarkable!
My involvement in the YES! program as the Central Coordinator is coming to a close and I am so proud to have been involved with the 10 teams in this region this year. From 6th graders educating their younger classmates on composting to middle schoolers planting a 9,000 square foot rain garden, to high schoolers hosting a community-wide convening on climate change, I have watched students and coaches come together and accomplish amazing things. I leave the program inspired by the youth in this area and hopeful for the sustainable future they are helping to create.
I also want to thank all my YES! coworkers and program staff. Their collective determination, hard work, and passion allows this program to empower students to leave the legacy the middle schooler talked about this spring. I look forward to watching the great things these students and this program will accomplish next!