Having first been a YLC student and then a Junior Counselor, directing YLC Boston for the first time was a full circle trip for me. At the same time, I knew first-hand the impact that YLC can have on students, so I wanted to make the same change that was made for me in these students’ lives.
I was nervous on the first day that it would be difficult to get the students engaged and interested but they were all incredibly attentive, inquisitive, and engaged. Rather than focusing on our normal social change projects, we used case studies as the primary project of the week since this YLC Boston was only a three-day long conference. The case studies were comprehensive but the students tackled the issues with great skill and they dissected the issues thoroughly.
Working on their case study ideas, students honed their public speaking and collaboration skills. Throughout the week, we focused on helping the students think through root cause analysis, analyze community problems, and then put it all into practice: solving their case study’s issue.
I was very impressed by the quality of the presentations and it was amazing to see how much progress the students made. Some of the quietest students had incredible stage presence and controlled the room as if they were completely different people from two days prior. This was extremely rewarding for me to see that YLC had made a real difference for these students and that we had provided them with skills they could use to make a difference in their own communities.
Overall, I had an amazing time directing this conference. We had a really special team and group of students for the conference, and I can’t wait to hear stories of the projects these students work on in the future!
- Varoun Gulati '19, YLC Boston 2016 Director