Mya Wade Harper YMWLS Class of 2019 900wThis summer I had not dreamed that I would be spending one of the best weeks of my life in Decorah, Iowa with other UU’s who cared for me and what I stand for. But in fact, that is what happened, and I can’t thank everyone who made it happen enough. That week was filled with beautiful memories that flowed into friendships, discussions that reminded me of what I hold dear and leadership skills that left me fired up and excited to do more. This summer was not one to forget.

Beneath a scorching sun, I walked with a bunch of teenagers who all had values that I shared and were there to learn. We cultivated friendships with shared experiences, like walking to lunch together or doing a ropes course. Together we welcomed each other into our lives, slowly opening our souls to each other in deep conversations in credo groups or laughing together at day’s end. We came together twice a day with the adult group to share worship, together in body and spirit. It was a time for me to re-center myself with the holy and myself. We sang together, and I was able to share some of my writing with this beloved community.

The skills we learned were very valuable and have me ready to approach my church and community to make change. I hope to take the skill of perseverance and knowledge to help my church adopt the 8thprinciple. It was also a place that will help me get more involved in the wider UU community. As an activist and POC still trying to find her place in the world, I enjoyed greatly being able to grow and learn from all the discussions we had.

I am more than blessed to have been able to be part of this experience and I highly recommend it to all. I will never forget this summer. 

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