United Way of Massachusetts Bay, Inc. wrote -
For every $2,000 we raise, a youth will go on the adventure of a lifetime.
“Where is the farthest you’ve traveled?”
Jama Aroni considers the question, then replies: “Down the street.”
Jama, 16, and his three friends from Young Environmental Leaders of Lynn (YELL), have not had many opportunities to get out and see the world.
That’s all about to change. In a big way.
On September 25, they will go on the adventure of their lives when they depart for a week-long trip to India.
For them, it’s all still unbelievable. From when their names were announced on May 30 as the winners of the Youth Venture video competition up to now, the reality of the experience before him has yet to settle in.
“We still can’t believe it,” said Jada Macdonald, 17. “It was so surreal.”
As a United Way Youth Venture team, YELL was awarded seed money to launch an innovative social change project. As their name connotes, they focused on environmental matters, specifically the beautification of their city, Lynn. YELL mobilizes their friends, neighbors and fellow Lynn-folk to participate in city-wide clean up days. Why? Because it makes a difference to care about where you live.
“The way we see it, says Neil Daniel, 18, “the kids in this city will eventually become the adults. If we can help them take pride in Lynn, when they become adults they can pass that positive influence to their children.”
Enough of this talking about adults and growing up; we need to make some all-time great memories and send this group of exceptional young people to India. Once there, they’ll see the sights (the Taj Mahal was the consensus choice as the first-stop), attend the worldwide Design for Change youth conference and meet teens from all over the world that share their vision:
“We want to see how they changed their communities,” says Jama. “We want to see how they made a difference.”
$2,000 will cover the costs, per young traveler, of the passport, visa, immunizations, airfare, hotel accommodations, food and visit to the Taj Mahal.