January 30, 2011 - 9:15 PM
Oh, what a wonderful weekend! Thanks to the super cheap Allegiant Air, I scored a round trip ticket from Eugene to Oakland for $150 and was able to fly home for the Berkeley YMCA's Teen Center grand opening on Friday night. For two years, during my junior and senior years in High School, I was a part of the Teen Task Force, whose job was to partner with a team of industry professionals to oversee the development of the Teen Center.
Our group worked on all aspects of the project, including hiring the architects and sub consultants, doing outreach to city officials and program partners, and engaging with donors. In the two years that I was involved, I really got to see the project develop from the ground up. If it wasn't for my work with the Teen Center, I probably wouldn't have gotten interested in planning and public policy, which probably means I wouldn't be here at Oregon, which means I wouldn't have had access to all the wonderful programs I've been a part of in the last year and a half that are so generously supported by alumni and donors. It's strange to think about how me being at UO is so connected to my involvement in this project.
It was really exciting to come back and literally be standing in the fruits of my labor, well really, the fruits of our labor because without the support of PG&E who donated the building, none of this would've been possible. Walking into the building and seeing the space alive and buzzing with the energy of so many teens, with a full calendar of programming scheduled for February, was a deeply gratifying feeling. Wow, I'm just so incredibly honored to have been a part of this whole project.
Other than the Teen Center opening, my weekend was filled with lots of delicious home cooked meals, long nights of rest in my own bed, sunshine, and many hugs from my very best friends. I'm feeling rejuvenated and ready to tackle Week Five. Winter Term is flying by!