This weekend is special. It marks the 40th anniversary of the Louisiana Youth Seminar. LYS is a leadership seminar for rising high school juniors and seniors in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I have been lucky enough to be a part of this incredible program for the last 8 years of my life and can confidently say that I would not be the person I am today if I had not gotten the chance to spend a week with other high schoolers taking risks, learning about myself and others, and making friendships that will stay with me for the rest of my life. Louisiana Youth Seminar is a place where the delegates, as we refer to them, are encouraged to do things that scare them. We remind them daily that it is a safe place to face something they are afraid of and a home where they are accepted for who they are. These messages seem to be just what self-conscious and uncertain high schoolers need to hear and it is pretty cool to see what can happen when these kids are given a safety net and are assured that they cannot fail.
The motto of LYS is “No Man is an Island.” Though a seemingly simple statement, those five words are pretty powerful. What if we all lived our lives in a way in which we made certain that no one around us was an “island?" I imagine we would have no shortage of friends and we would come to find that things are a lot easier if we just let ourselves lean on one another a little.
So with that in mind, I am heading down to the dirty South to celebrate
“all the days that were LYS.”
P.S. If you know of a high school junior or senior who you think would be interested just let me know and I can get them all the information they need to sign up and experience LYS for themselves next summer!