|The Crew: Zion, Azeb, Jordan, Reagan, Eyerusalem.|
Dear MVOT Supporters,
As we welcome the new year I am filled with gratitude for Many Voices One Tribe. I am grateful to the youth and my fearless co-facilitator who dared to take this journey with me. I am also grateful for each and every individual and organization who came together to make my dream into a reality, most especially everyone who contributed to our Go Fund Me, those who helped lead activities, the Amor Spiritual Center, the Seattle Globalist, the Seattle Fandango Project, the Human Rights Commission in Veracruz, and the Spanish Language Immersion School.
It's been several months since we returned from our time in Mexico. Azeb graduated and is contemplating her next steps (which hopefully will include film school). Zion and Eyerusalem have returned to high school. Zion is now president of the Gay Straight Alliance at his school and Eyerusalem is editor of her school paper and has also started a self care group for young black women. Jordan continues his good works in the Tri-Cities area and is creating a poetry anthology.
I (Reagan) have been wrestling with my next steps. After returning from Mexico I took some time off to hang out with my goddaughter and to process my year of putting the program together. There were a lot of highs and a lot of lows, difficult conversations, sleepless nights, the endless math of readjusting the budget and so much more.
I believe 100% that programs like this are the future of study abroad if we ever hope to provide supportive and appropriate educational experience to cultivate our youth of color to be global citizens. I also learned that creating the infrastructure and performing all the administrative duties that make the program itself possible is not my jam. In fact I would be content never to host another fundraiser, fill out anymore paperwork, or spend another sleepless night trying to figure out insurance and liability issues. As you've read on the blog, we had an incredible experience...the places we went, the people we met, the food we ate, the salsa we danced, the conversations we had, the writing we produced, the family we forged has been an incredible blessing.
I've decided that while I am committed to the work of creating global citizens I must do so in a way that is sustainable. I also want to stay true to my first love...writing. To that end I have decided to continue my freelance journalism and I've accepted a position as the Program Manager for Young Women Empowered, a youth leadership program serving girls 13-18 in the greater Seattle area. Through Y-WE I will be creating new programs domestically and also launching our first abroad experiences with what I've learned from this year. So I will leave you with my most recent column in the Seattle Globalist that gives a little more detail about what I've gained and my sincere thanks for your support of this program.
10 Lessons I learned by starting my dream non-profit as published on the Seattle Globalist.