Do you remember the last time you were brave? Was it as recently as yesterday? Has it been a long time? Did you think you couldn’t do it? Do you still have the pictures?
The Young Leaders below – just like you – pushed themselves to the limit and lived to tell the tale. I invite you to take a peek inside their adventures from as far away as West Africa, as recently as last summer:
Jayvee Salunga, Dominican Republic, Summer 2012
“Helmet. Check. Life vest. Check. Twenty minute mini hike. Then our first jump. Jump.Time seems to stop while you float in the air. Until………spshhhhhhh, your whole body becomes submerged under water. The teal colored water is refreshingly cold. Second jump. The high jump we had. 30 feet they said? It was high. That’s all you need to know. And I loved the thrill. Sliding was fun too! In between jumps and slides you swim or walk to the next. Along the way you see the threes, the sun, the rock formations. The nature. It was beautiful.”
Tamar Willis, Ghana, Summer 2012
“We saw [a slave fort] in Keta, just 20 minutes from Anloga, built by the Danes in the 18th century…Seeing the cramped living quarters — hundreds, sometimes thousands of slaves were kept in a room smaller than Shalhevet’s Bet Midrash – left us unnerved. The Ghanaians never seemed to resent us for what our ancestors had done. They still welcomed us warmly. But in spite of the bright sunlight and lively conversation, the forts made us uncomfortable.”
Veronica Gallilao, Costa Rica, Summer 2012
“Rain whipped my cheeks and the mingled smells of cows and wet soil filled my lungs as I bounced around the bed of a rickety old truck. The rotting wooden railing seemed less than capable of holding four teenagers in and hundreds of folding chairs threatened to topple onto us. My eyes stung and I had no idea where I was being taken, but bursts of delighted laughter spilled out of me as I looked all around me. To my left were crumbling shacks painted in vibrant faded pastels; to my right were miles of coffee plants and cow pastures in front of a backdrop of green-covered mountains. The drive over the pitted dirt road seemed ceaseless in the most phenomenal way. In those moments, I could not believe that I had never experienced such beauty, joy, excitement, and at the same time…peace.”
Bravery is one of the key attributes of a Young Leader. Whether it’s:
- Forcing yourself to speak Spanish with a native speaker, even if it comes out half wrong
- Conquering your fear of heights to see the most amazing sunset of your life from the summit of a mountain
- Volunteering for the first time in your life…7,000 miles from home
You have the stuff Young Leaders are made of. Hey, remember that time when you were brave? That was a really good time.