To the PJALS community with love, passion, and fervor, pesa u (thank you).
As I prepare to transition out of my position as youth organizer and take the next step in my activist journey (higher education), I wanted to take a moment to share with you what the past five years, two of those on staff, have meant to me. I do not intend for this to be a final goodbye, but rather a note of my gratitude and love for this dear community that will surely not dissipate when I leave. I hope that I have left an important and meaningful impact on this organization, because it has certainly impacted me.
You do the math! Five years of an eighteen year long life involved in justice work and civic action means that the majority of my formative years have been shaped by you all. This is perhaps the greatest gift you have to given me. I am so privileged and honored that this community has embraced me with loving arms.Being involved with PJALS and the Young Activist Leaders Program has strengthened my ability to speak powerfully, to educate others, and to inspire youth. Perhaps unknowingly you’ve championed an entire movement of young people to put aside their fears of not being heard, not being seen, and of not being valued and legitimized because they are young. You have enabled them to act.
You have all supported me with as much passion as you have supported this organization throughout the years. Each note, message, workshop, and community conversation has left me feeling more inspired, educated, and prepared to make progress. I have been afforded this one in a million (maybe 2, as Sarah and I share the title) opportunity to learn and grow alongside you all while supporting other young people to find their voices and passions as activists. This is a gift I will carry with me for the rest of my life. I myself have found a passion for service and justice over my career with PJALS that I intend to explore and develop in the coming years.I leave with the commitment to continue this trajectory of making change with you in kind, as I know this is lifelong work. I am the product of many mentors, teachers, allies, peers, community members, elders, and ancestors who either intentionally or unknowingly took the time to share their knowledge, experiences, stories, and to show love and support for me and my work. I will never take this privilege of your investment for granted.
I must reiterate this is not a goodbye, and I look forward to working with you all in the future in one capacity or another. Do not hesitate to reach out and contact me (text, call, or email) for any and all reasons under the sun. I will be sure to respond.
Keep up the fight. Keep championing the power of youth. I am humbled, privileged, and honored to carry the fire forward.
The people’s champ