The incredible atmosphere of BOB 1 enables delegates to be comfortable doing things that they never thought would be possible. The constant support from not only your delegation but from the random delegates you meet in session causes delegates to really go out of their comfort zone and take advantage of all the opportunities in front of them.
Our delegation proved to be great at seizing opportunities this conference and it really shows by all of the amazing leadership positions we now hold. Nine of our delegates became committee chairs, two now hold main leadership positions in their program areas, and one was chosen to be the Undersecretary of State. Five East Valley delegates were selected to represent CalYMCA to other YMCAs and donors through the new program “Speakers Bureau,” and East Valley’s Menen Bash was selected to be one of the four statewide chaplains. In addition, our very own Chad Gassman was elected as East Valley’s finalist for Lt. Governor.
East Valley really did amazing things this conference; even the delegates who did not get any sort of leadership dominated sessions and grew more confident each time they spoke. Second year delegate, Ania Lakritz, said, “it wasn’t until this Bob that I was able to convince myself to speak. Not only did I stretch far away from my the limits that I’ve imposed on myself that have prevented me from sharing my ideas but in that single opportunity I also spoke on the opposing side of the bill we were discussing. I was just following along agreeing with the moderate speakers like I normally do but at the last second I completely changed my stance. Even more shocking to me was the fact that my point was so convincing that I actually influenced a lot of other people’s stances.” BOB provides the space for delegates to do what they wouldn’t have the opportunity to do anywhere else; people’s perspectives change and they grow as individuals.
The BOB experience is completely magical and everyone goes home with great stories to tell. These are a few delegates’experiences at this year’s BOB 1:
“I was the only person not worrying about falling off of the top bunk; I was also the only person who ended up falling off of the top bunk.”
“I came to appreciate my name more. Reason being that my very “Méxican” name has provoked adversity for me in the past. At BOB random people who weren’t in any of my groups took a liking my name solely through word of mouth and encouraged me to speak just so they can hear my name as to satisfy some sort of mental itch that required affirmation. Also I won a dance battle.”
-Jose Luis Oropeza III
I think BOB is so special because it gives delegates the time and place to grow and learn about themselves. They leave with growing confidences and amazing experiences that they can take back to their life in LA. The members of the East Valley Family went above and beyond this BOB and we can’t wait to see we do in Fresno!
Dina Ben-Nissan, the editor in chief of social media and photography for the 2013-2014 Youth and Government year has done nothing but blossom into a hardworking and intelligent college student, while maintaining an aura of coolness that every EVY delegate strives for.
How has your life changed since y and g?
What have you been up to?
Do you have any advice to future delegates?
I’m currently a freshman at Syracuse University in New York. I’m also working as a photo editor for a magazine at my school called Juiced Magazine. To be completely honest I don’t think I would have gotten the position if it wasn’t for youth and government. Working as the Editor in Chief of photography and social media on the media team last year helped me gain so much experience when it comes to leadership and working creatively with a group of peers. Youth and government helped me form connections and relationships with so many different people. I don’t think I would be the person I am today if it wasn’t for Y&G or YMCA Camp Whittle (which is an amazing summer camp that everybody should volunteer at). My only advice to future delegates is to cherish every moment you have in Y&G, don’t take anything for granted because it goes by a lot quicker than you think.
Mack Kenny, Articles and Content Editor