This past weekend I was helping out at a youth leadership conference in Fairlee, VT. This was the high school conference for Youth Leadership Through Adventure which caters to youth in northern New Hampshire. This organization works towards prevention by teaching students leadership skills through team and adventure based learning. It also showcases to students how everyone is a leader in their own way.
This is my eighth year being with YLTA. I started as a youth participate my eighth grade year. Throughout high school I participated as an activities facilitator and as a group facilitator helping to organize the conference. Now as I am no longer youth staff or in high school, I still help out at every conference I can. I am now the conference photographer, run the social media pages, and assist in training the youth staff team.
To say that this organization has positively impacted me and shaped me into the man I am today, is an understatement. YLTA has taught me leadership skills that I have been able to translate into my day to day life. By understanding how to work towards my goals, drive my passions, work in groups at college and work, and promote positive change, I have discovered I am a leader.
Without Youth Leadership Through Adventure I probably would have never know I was a leader. YLTA is about discovering who you are and understanding that every personality type has the capability of being a leader. Whether you like to lead from the front by helping make decisions or you like to lead by following and making sure everyone in the group feels heard, you are a leader.
YLTA is a lifetime organization. I will forever use and teach the skills I have learned in Youth Leadership Through Adventure to make an impact in my community and in the world. I will not forget the meaning behind YLTA and I will continue to give back to this organization every chance I can.