It is a year since I began my internship at Youth Action International and what I thought would be an easy task is very difficult. I do not know where to start in talking about my experiences over the last one year. To save myself from overworking my young brain trying to think about my experiences, I will use this medium to extend my gratitude to Kimmie and the Youth Action International family for affording me the opportunity to grow and develop in a more responsible leader.
In June 2010, a week before my graduation from the African Leadership Academy and my return to Liberia, I contacted Kimmie to volunteer to work for Youth Action International in the summer before heading off to College (I ended up staying a whole year). He accepted my offer. I arrived in Liberia on June 13. I started work on the 14. My first task was to help the graduation ceremony of the Center
for Women’s Empowerment; one YAI’s many projects. My second task was to help select a new batch of students to enroll at the Center. My third task was to organize an event for the women at the Center and influential women in Liberia.
This event ended up as a mentorship program and I was in charge of it. I organized meeting with these women senators and ministers and our students on a regular basis. I cannot remember the exact sequence in which my other tasks came but I can sit back today and point out the leadership lessons and
experiences that each of these tasks taught me and how they are panning out in my life.
Over the last one year, I met many people influential people because of Youth Action International. I met many ordinary people who have done extraordinary things. I met people who stories have humbled me and inspired me to work harder. I have become a more confident writer and speaker. I learned to see compliments as an opportunity to grow. I learned teamwork and diversity. I learned to use
negative feedback to improve. I learned to be optimistic even when the chances of success were so slim. I was introduced to the “real world” that people always talked about.
I did not have a specific job at YAI and it was because of this “free role”, as we would say in Soccer, I was able to learn the many things I know today. I wrote, edited, and delivered letters and documents. I created budgets, attended programs, made flight reservations, proxy for Kimmie, delivered stories to media institutions for publication, wrote proposal and did just about everything I was told to do. At times, I felt some of the stuff I did were burdensome but I learned to look beyond myself. I learned to work for others.
In March, I received college admission with full scholarship. Words will never describe how thankful I am to Youth Action International for assisting me in the process. The encouragement, guidance and letter of recommendation played a major part. A card from my admissions package read, “ Your dedication to Youth Action International and the youth of Liberia is awesome”.
I am truly thankful for everything.