By Kelsee Ford
I arrived to this summer's program a day late, June 3, because I had a JROTC event the previous day. I walked into this bright office looking the same as last year, but seeing unfamiliar faces. I introduced myself to those I didn't know, and hugged those I had made close bonds with last year, noticing an abundance of new kids ready and willing to learn. I remembered some of those faces from Murrah High School, but students I rarely saw.
I then had to miss a week because of Girls State hosted by the American Legion Auxiliary at the University of Southern Mississippi. I returned June 12, and since then I’ve started my day off with 2 doughnuts for $1.74 at Monroe's downstairs.
Monday, June 5, was a day I wasn't prepared for; I wasn't aware that we were having a Youth Day of Dialogue that day. We split into groups and talked in-depth about certain words dealing with race. Knowing how to use words is vital, because obviously I haven't been using them in the correct way.
One activity that stood out to me was the step-back-or step-forward exercise. I had mixed feelings about it, but overall it enforced some of the things I already knew.
I think everybody’s favorite part of the day is lunch. It’s even better when we don't have to pay for it so thanks to those who have catered us so far.
Our lunch walks are the best. I believe that’s were we all kind of loosen up and just talk about anything. On Tuesday, June 13, just about all of us went to lunch at Chick-Fil-A. As we stood in line, I noticed Chauncey Nettles looking at his phone, nothing out of the ordinary. I looked a little closer and noticed he was looking at the menu.
“Chauncey, you do know the menu is up there, right?”
He responded with “Oh yea, my bad, I forgot. My mind was else where." That was probably one of the funniest things I’ve witnessed in a long time.
YMP is a program everyone should have the experience to be in. We meet new people, learn new skills, become more comfortable with diversity and are able to speak our minds. Rain or shine, we always have a good and productive day.