Voices of SYA 2016: First Day Reflections

 

*****
When I approached and entered the building I was welcomed with a good morning by each adult present in the building. Which lightened my mood a little, and also recognizes old faces from last year made me more comfortable.  As the day began we were introduced to some well known people who are known for being involved in the community.  Afterwards we were able to eat and conversate with each other and watch my childhood favorite Scooby-Doo.  After lunch we were introduced to some more people who also support Savannah.  We were dismissed and overall the day went well. -Lauran Smoak
*****
Yesterday was the first day of SYA and it was my second year in SYA as well. First we did an ice breaker challenge to introduce the new members. Then Lady Mahogany and a man name Clinton came to talk about their past and give some advice to the Ambassador. Lady Mahogany spoke about how the tragedies of her life was actually gave her opportunities to get where she is now. She also spoke about how it is okay to think about your community, but one must also think about themselves sometimes. After our quest were finish speaking it was time for lunch.  -Nicholas Fields
*****
I was very excited and nervous to be in a different element that I was not use to. When I walked in my plan was be to be friendly, but as usual, I was quiet at first. When our first guests came in I found it amazing that they had these amazing associations that I had never heard of. I was truly inspired by Lady Mahogany’s story and I really made some personal pointers that I want to would like to carry throughout life. An example of one of the pointers was when she said that this generation is so worry about views and likes on a selfie but they should you their platform to spread a message regardless of how many followers you have. After lunch, which was chaos, we had more visitors that were there to help us with our M.A.D projects. There was Paradise Park, Waters Avenue Corridor and Carver Village. I am on the Waters Ave. Team and I am very excited to see what my team mates had come up with and I am excited for what SYA has to offer. -Ryanne Franklin
*****
I’m a returning student and I review yesterday as very inspirational. There were speakers that came to give a word and I think that our age group needed to hear what was said.  I learned that nobody owes you anything. No matter how many times you’re told no, think of it as a ‘not right now’ or ‘not from you ‘. If you have a dream that you want to fulfill then you should keep it alive and don’t give up. That sums up my yesterday. –AnTrinese Stackhouse
*****
Yesterday at SYA we had a lot of speakers come and speak to us about their life growing up. We also had local community speakers come and talk about the history and factors about their local community. Later that day we made a diagram talking about the positives and negatives of a community. Then we drew another diagram explaining what positives one person can have on a community, and we drew chain links around the person (but I forgot what that was about). Then we had donuts and went home. –Rashard Habersham
*****
The first day of SYA was pretty fun because I got to see some of the people from the first year.  At first I was scared to talk to some of the new people because I really didn’t know them like that, but once we started talking, I got to know them.  I also got to see most of the adults that worked with us last year as well and they are fun. –Jahleel Larry
*****
Yesterday at SYA’s first day it was remarkable. This is my second year entering SYA. I have been in this program since it was NYA.  I enjoyed the encouraging words from our two speakers that we had. They had spoken about issues in their communities that they grew up in. They had spoken about the major changes in their lifestyles. Lady Mahogany said that we can make a change in our community and that we are the future. We also talked about issues in our community and ways that we could solve those issues in our community. We had a chart explaining the positives and the negatives of the community. We talked about how our speakers said that they would only focus on the positive things in our community and how they would still see the negative things in the community. We also talked about the development of Paradise Park and Carver Village. The history of those two communities was interesting. I really enjoyed the first day of SYA! -Will Eason
*****
Yesterday 6/7/16 was wonderful for me. We had a great speaker.  I was very interested to hear her speak on how she made it to where she is now.  She made a lot of great decisions. -Montae Moultrie
*****
On Tuesday, June 7, 2016, the Savannah Youth Ambassador program began. Everyone began to reunite and form into friendly groups while getting a chance to know one another. We had speakers and they were highly inspirational with their words and advice to us about business and communications in the real world. The second group of speakers helped shine light on the negative and positive of certain problems and events going on in certain neighborhoods like Paradise Park, Waters Avenue, and Carver Village. These groups of speakers helped most of us realize or get a chance to acknowledge what we can work on in these neighborhoods.  -Lonnae Ware
*****
Yesterday was my first day of Savannah Youth Ambassadors program. I really enjoyed my first day. I enjoyed the talk with Lady Mahogany about her past life. I also enjoyed listening to the residents of different communities that SYA members will be attempting to make a difference in. I lastly enjoyed the doughnuts that were provided. They were delicious. Because of my wonderful first day experience I was excited and anxious to attend my second. -LaZarea West
*****
Yesterday was pretty interesting in as my first day in this program. I liked the memory game and enjoyed observing the different personalities around the room. Lady Mahagony’s talk was very informative and a good motivation for me in pursuing my goals. I also liked how she stated that energy was very important because I too believe in chakras and good or bad energy. My salad at lunch was really good but the pizza was even better. After lunch, the activity involving the positive and negative aspects of our neighborhood was somewhat enjoyable. -Nazira Brown
*****
Yesterday in SYA, was okay. I had a good time. We talked about our M.A.D projects that we will be working on the Summer. We were split up into 3 different groups because there are 3 different neighborhoods that we will work with. We talked a little bit about how the work we will be doing will also be help with our community service hours that we need to graduate. We had 5 different guest speakers and they all gave us some good advice. I learned that I should focus on the positive in my community and not just the negative. Yesterday, was a good experience for me.     –Summer Butler
*****
My first day was different. My day started off with me waking up at six sharp. I was ready by 6:30am, and was out the door by 7:30am. I rushed to get my papers printed, copied, and ready to turn in. When I first arrived, I was greeted by very friendly people, who were helping with the program. I was escorted of by a nearby blank wall to take my picture for my ID badge, and headed straight into a meeting room where my interview was held. After a long wait, everyone was finally escorted into a large room, where we had orientation. As I looked around the room, I didn’t see many familiar faces. For this reason, I kept quiet to myself. We later participated in a memory/”get to know each other” game. We went around the room, having to repeat everyone’s name (those who were before us) and one fact about them. You then had to say your own name, your age, your grade, the school you attend, and two facts about you. We then had two guess speakers, one who stood out with a very powerful, moving, and inspirational speech. This amazing woman was none other than, Lady Mahogony (a host on 94.1 The Beat). Little did I know that she had such an interesting life, and had been through so much. –Anaya Smith
*****
My first day at SYA was exiting. We began our first secession with naming all the people at our table and one thing about them then we told everyone who we were, our age, school, and 2 things that we like to do.  After we did that we had to speakers who work hard to help their community. The first one was 94.1 radio personality Lady Mahogany (my auntie). The second was Clinton Edminster. They told us about their child hood and how they started helping their community. Along with that they told us their struggles that they had to go through to get where they are now. After that we went downstairs and had lunch for about an hour and thirty minutes. After lunch we went back upstairs and then we had people from three different communities and they talked to us about them. They communities were Carver Village, Paradise Park, and Waters Avenue. We were split into one of those communities. After that we did a group exercise while we ate doughnuts. Then we were dismissed and went home.  
-Macey Cummings
*****
For those of you who don’t know, the Savannah Youth Ambassador program is designed to give the youth of a Savannah to interact with their community by implementing M.A.D. (make a difference) projects. My first day of SYA was interesting. When I first arrived, I was welcomed by many friendly people. Once the day began, we started off with a memory game to get to know everyone we would be with for the next couple weeks. The goal of the memory game was this: Each person had to say their name, age, school, and two facts/hobbies; however, the clinch was that you had to remember name and one fact of everyone who went before you. As you could imagine, pens were flying as people frantically scribbled down information and facts about the people who went beforehand. Fortunately for me, I was second person at my table to go so I didn’t have trouble remembering names and facts. 

After the icebreaker activity, we had two guest speakers come in: Clinton Edminister and Lady Mahogany. Both of them are well known for their nonprofit organizations. The former is associated with Art Rise Savannah, and Lady Mahogany, among many things, is renowned for being the founder of blessings in a book bag. What then took place was a question and answer sort of thing. One of the program leaders would ask a question like “What was the most defining moment of your childhood years?” and the guest speakers would reply, often extrapolating from the responses of each other. Some lasting impressions was the message “it’s nice to be nice” and to spread positive energy. In the afternoon, we learned about our M.A.D. projects and heard from various leaders of the community. Although the day was long, it ended nicely with donuts. -Jasmine Lin

P.S. On the second day of SYA 2016 (Wednesday, June 8), participants were asked to write a reflection on their first day of SYA.  Everyone completed the exercise and half of the reflections were read out loud in session.  The 15 reflections posted here are all of those that were e-mailed to the admin… The voices of SYA 2016!

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