When I first joined the IHL Action Campaign team at Dulles High School in the Texas Gulf Coast Region, the idea of being selected to attend the 2015 Youth Leadership Summit in Washington, DC seemed like an unattainable dream. We were a bunch of high school kids that went to different high schools and seemed to have very little in common except for the fact that we were passionate about spreading awareness of the plight of refugees to our community.
Now that the joy of being chosen to attend the Summit and the exhilaration and apprehensiveness of being thrust into a different city with people I have never met before has worn off, I can honestly say that the Summit was one of the most amazing and informative experiences I have ever had in my life. From our whirlwind dinner on the first night filled with awkward silences to visiting the Newseum as a big group, the IHL Youth Leadership Summit was packed with new events enabling us to come out of our comfort zones.
It was so refreshing to see teens around my age putting their effort and time into a cause that adds value to our world. I loved seeing the creative ways that the other teams came up with to spread awareness of their campaign topics. I was able to have a great 3 days of bonding time with my team, and I formed friendships that I want to keep forever. Another thing that really struck a chord with me was the emcee Bryan’s quote of the day. There is nothing better than starting the day with some positive and wise words. I feel like these quotes just set a great tone for the eventful days during the summit, and it’s a tradition that I definitely want to adopt for myself.
The IHL Youth Leadership Summit affirmed the fact that I want to continue helping the refugee community in the future. There was a sense of pride that filled my heart when I listened to the kind words of the people my team’s campaign and the other teams’ campaigns had touched. It was so rewarding to know that people around the world were able to tune into the Summit to see our efforts and to learn about IHL. Regardless of what major I study in college or the job that I have when I graduate, I know that empowering the growing refugee communities around the world, financially as well as politically and socially, will be a goal that I will actively try to achieve.
I certainly hope that this is not my last IHL Youth Leadership Summit, and that more people are able to get involved in an IHL Action Campaign. It’s one of the most challenging and worthwhile things I have done thus far. That weekend was filled with amazing and inspirational people, and I am thankful for the opportunity to make great memories that I will never forget as well as to grow as a person.
– Moyo A., IHL Action Campaign Team Member, Texas Gulf Coast Region