Anya Abraham On Her Experience At The Youth Action Forum
I attended my first Aspen youth camp four years ago. I was livid that I had to waste part of my precious summer vacation at a camp where I thought we had to analyze 72 pages of literature. I promised myself I’d never agree to something like this again. Yet, four days later as we were leaving, I told my Dad he had to sign me up for next year, and every year after that. What happened? First, the discussions were unexpected. The readings were long, but it wasn’t your typical English analytical class. These were personal, our own opinions of what the readings said. There were no right or wrong answers, and we learned as much from each other. Over the days, we discovered we all shared the desire to live in a good society, in an ethical world of values. It was so relaxing and refreshing to find people who resonated with my values. What’s best is we used that energy, and channeled it towards a social project. This wasn’t your typical high school groups where a few people do the work and everyone else tags along. Everyone was energized and put in their best.
The reason I come back every year is for the people. It’s crazy to think we were all strangers four years ago, because they’ve become my family. We’re from all over the world, we speak different languages, we’ve grown up in different cultures, we eat different foods, yet somehow we all share a common bond, a sense of the way we want to live. Picnics at the Hub, exploring the town of Aspen, and late-night bites at New York Pizza– these are the moments that made the time we spent so special. Though it’s only four days at Aspen, we stay connected throughout the year. Though this is my last year at Aspen, I know I’ve made friends for life.
Anya Abraham, 17
Former Youth Participant
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