“Wha Wha What’s your name? and Whe…whe…where you from? and tell me Who’s your crew… Aaaaw DC…Aaaaw DC.” The DC delegation came to CONA this year with excitement and high expectations. Currently, as a delegation, the DC team is proud of their accomplishments and the ability to stay enthused despite a somewhat biased community surrounding them. They have been welcomed and befriended by several state delegations: Maryland, Virginia, Georgia, Kentucky, California, etc. Even as they may not feel fully emerged into the CONA community, within their own circle there is a sure feeling of kinship, love, and hope.
The ten delegates have supported one another throughout the legislative process, and two of them made it to plenary and general assembly: Shayla Thomas and Marco Gomez respectively. As the whole delegation sat in their delegation meeting, each expressed a “rose” and a “thorn” that the experience so far has prompted. They expressed how each would make them stronger in the days to come.
Mayor Alicia Wade plainly stated words of encouragement to her peers: “It has to get worse before it can get better. DC has faced a number of things, but what doesn’t kill us only makes us stronger, and each year we knock down another invisible wall, keeping us from our full potential.” The Blue Ridge Spirit surely lives in all of the DC delegates, only in a different manner. The spirit for them keeps them going, reaching to higher levels; seeking new friendships of value and meaning. Truly the four core values of the YMCA dwell with them.
Each delegate in the circle spoke in turn, giving respect where respect was due, and I knew that the love expressed was no show, but was sincere. They uttered words of encouragement and strength to one another: “The hardest thing about growth is letting go of parts of our present in order to transition into our future,” said Nate Cole, one of the Advisors. Mr. Mapp, the other advisor expressed encouraging words once given him, “Adversity doesn’t build character, it reveals it.”
Ivan Ango’s great experience was when he was able to combine with other delegates of almost every race to present his proposal. “It showed the unity and the diversity of young people,” he said. Sarah Ocran quoted scripture, “The tongue of the righteous is choice silver, but the heart of the wicked is so little value” Proverbs 10:20. Shayla Thomas followed saying, “When stuff doesn’t go your way, you must take proper steps to adapt to, or change, the situation.” “Roadblocks only force you to find a better path,” added Michellay Cole, and Sara G. ended saying, “This is my first year at CONA, and I am absolutely loved it! I am proud of our accomplishments.” I finish with, “Chains can bind you, but so can you lacking to find you!”