As the Youth Mayor’s summer is coming to its end and with it, the projects we are executing, we find ourselves in the stage where reflecting back our first-year journey is necessary. One year ago, most of the members of this team chose to be the pioneers of this project, arranged and supported by UWC Maastricht. Then we moved out of our countries into this two years journey, and we found ourselves in a room in the middle of September 2018, so did our teenage souls full of expectations and ready to be the change.
So we did, through different activities, starting different projects and using our Wednesday afternoons to get the maximum yield of our creativity. It is also important to acknowledge that during this time of finding solutions, we were not only giving to Maastricht or the school but we were flourishing as roses in the middle of the spring, and this is something that I understood in a personal level after my summer project.
Leadership might vary in its definition, scope or interpretation, however, it has to do with what we all do in UWC and Youth Mayors because is what every single change-maker should have. Sometimes it is about taking a hard decision, sometimes is about creating projects, or innovation, but sometimes it is just an inner force calling us to do the right thing. The truth is that the opportunity to explore our own interpretation of being a leader and make the best of it is not often given, this is why places as LALA are so necessary. And precisely, one of the most amazing feelings that I had about this experience was reconnecting with my Latin American leader roots, which I really needed after spending almost one year outside of my country and the region.
On July 6th I arrived at the Latin American Leadership Academy in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Craving for knowledge and inspiration I found myself among a group of leaders, a group of amazing leaders that changed my soul completely during that week. Thank you Brazilian Leadership Bootcamp 6, you pulled me back together again (but stronger).
Being part of institutions as the Favela da Paz, Amani Institute and LALA itself was the best way that I could have asked to spend my summer. Also, re-affirming that there are many young leaders out there that are being the change gives me joy and hope for the future to come. My immersive week at LALA gave me tools that I will use to improve the rest of my time in UWC, Maastricht and Youth Mayor. I am craving to unite with the second cohort of Youth Mayors as smoothly and proactively as possible.
If I could describe that week that I will treasure forever, I would describe it as serendipity, because I was just in the right place, at the right time. And this type of encounters are the ones that probably (hopefully) the rest of my YM fellows had during their variated Summer Projects, I am excited to see you all again!
I am grateful to everyone that made this experience possible, especially because experiences like this should not be compromised by the financial capacity of its brilliant candidates. LALA supports all of the participants through need-based scholarships, which is the right thing to do in a region with such economic disparity as Latin America; and in my case, I was lucky enough to also receive the support of UWC Maastricht, the Province of Limburg and many others (as Teresa, Fran, Rocío or Vanesa) to make this Summertime as it was, perfect.