As someone who found the inspiration for this year’s IHL Action Campaign at last year’s Youth Symposium, I cannot express enough the importance, in my mind, of an event such as the 2015 Youth Leadership Summit. Although this year’s event was definitely a lot warmer and stickier than last year’s, it was just as fun, interesting, and exciting.
One of the highlights of the Summit was the trip to the Newseum, where I saw how news and media have evolved, changing people’s perceptions along the way. The vast collections of articles and photos from the 1400s to now reflected the power that exists in documentation of real events. Although I loved every part of the museum, my favorite exhibits were the exhibits about the Vietnam War and media, the hallway that showed the evolution of news (with samples dating back to colonial America), and the Pulitzer Prize-winning photographs exhibit.
Though I enjoyed the perks of being at the nation’s capital, I did not forget why I was there. While I learned about the groups chosen to participate, I found something admirable in each of their campaigns. I admired Bradley’s ability to adapt their strengths (creating realistic and profound simulations) to different audiences, Dulles’s craftiness in making a completely immersive experience (and figuring out a way to take it everywhere they went), BISH’s teamwork and complete trust in each other when tackling the many components of their campaign (I counted five, all of which would have been difficult on their own, much less together), and North (and El Segundo)’s understanding of their audience as they crafted their campaign to effectively impact those they wanted to target.
Seeing how each group differed was definitely interesting, but it was what we all had in common that was truly inspiring. We all used the resources we had to make the biggest impact we could and to teach our communities about something that was important. Whether it was with the various traits I mentioned above or a million others, we did everything we could to make our campaigns successful. Instead of being inspired by the ideas presented, like I was last year, this year I am instead inspired to adopt the strengths of each team that I met.
I spent the better part of my senior year in high school trying to bridge the IHL world with the mainstream in my community, and after seeing other campaigns that took place throughout the country this year, I only wish I could go back and do more.
– Angela L., IHL Action Campaign Team Member, Orange County Chapter