National Gathering has honestly been one of the most valuable experiences in my life. Not only was I able to meet tons of new people with similar aspirations, but I was able to share and exchange ideas with them to vastly broaden my perspective. Gratefully feeling validated and heard, I was able to share my experiences and relate to those around me. Those who attended the Gathering were of varied experience, age, and identities, allowing an array of resources for everyone there. This was especially helpful for me, as I was able to receive validation from my peers as well as advice from those who have taken powerful leadership roles and know how to get change started.
Personally, I’ve been fairly intimidated by the idea of challenging authority figures — out of fear of being seen as a joke to have dared spoken up. However, after hearing what other people my age (and younger!) have done in their own communities, that barrier has been severed. My own anxieties do not override the needs of my peers in any shape or form. I desire justice for the people who have so graciously surrounded me, and I’ve been given a good push in the right direction. I’ve made many valuable friends and connections that I’ll never forget, and I look forward to taking the next steps in making change happen around us.
– Rhis H.
That’s me on the left! (with the blue hair lol)