Thursday, July 15, 2010

LYS Has Got Soul

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!

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