by Asia Mangum
I have a good feeling about this year of YMP. We have even more people then the last group when I was here last summer. The new students have a lot to offer and are genuinely excited and passionate about the program. But to be honest, I was worried that we couldn't work together as well as I worked with the last group. However, every day I come here I'm reminded that not only do we work well together, but I'm confident we will achieve more and better things this year.
Making friends came easy this year because I felt comfortable in a familiar environment. Meeting new people is an opportunity I can never pass up, so getting to know the new students was my favorite part of the experience. They are each different in their own way. I don't think anything is forced between us; we share common interests and learn from each other every day.
One of the girls here, Maleah Briggs, went to the same summer camp I went to. I was so happy to have met her, because I never met anyone who went to KAA (Kids Across America), a Christian summer camp for kids through ages 11 through 18, besides the group I went with. While we were at KAA, we participated in various activities, such as canoeing, archery, ski tubing, tree tops and etc. We bonded over our experience at summer camp, and we ended up forgetting to interview each other for our bios.
I am anxious to interview people and tell their stories. Finishing the Regina Briggs story, last year made me feel so proud of myself. I will never forget her because she was the first person I ever interviewed, and I was so honored to tell her story about being in a gang when she was younger. She was such an empowering and inspiring woman. Her story is proof that you can overcome any dark time in your life. Stories such as Ms. Briggs' are the kind I want to continue writing. I'm looking forward to reporting and writing more stories, even if I have to go through constant revisions and editing.