There is only one word to truly describe our LYS experience: Indescribable.
While this seems like an oxymoron, we can assure you that there is no other word to describe the emotions that we, as new JC’s, felt as we approached those glass doors of Herget Hall - on the other side of which we could already see 300+ delegates anxiously awaiting what they soon found out to be the greatest week of their lives.
Throughout every person's life one will always experience his or her "taking the step" moment. That split second moment that seems to happen over the course of an eon. A student taking a step towards their principal to receive their diploma thereby stepping into the real world. A surgeon bursting through the doors to save another person's life. A college freshman moving away from their parents into a dorm and soon learning to be independent.
Our “taking the step" moment as JCs, occurred in the form of bursting through those clear, glass doors into an ocean of delegates. The first thing that hit us was the sun: high in the sky and bearing down upon us with the intensity of a white-hot rainstorm. Of course, within seconds, neither the sun nor the cruel Baton Rouge heat had any effect on our spirits. Almost as if wearing a Red Shirt gave us superhuman energy, our minds went into autopilot: there were cars in the parking lot to chase down, and delegates to greet and take luggage from.
And from that moment on, it was like nothing else mattered other than putting a smile on a delegate's face.
Yes, seeing the delegates happy made us happy. As staff members, we counted our victories not in the involvement sessions, but through every smile that we were able to put onto a delegate's face. However, that happiness that we, as red shirts, garnered from the delegates' happiness, came from somewhere far beyond ourselves, as we would soon discover.
From the first head table skit at opening convocation and the masterful JC pyramid to the emotional closing convocation of LYS 2015 "Hitting Leadership Out of the Park" we found a new type of joy in watching the delegation grow as leaders and as human beings. From listening to the Lieutenant Governor explain the uniqueness of Louisiana to the experience of trying to communicate effectively while disabled at Communication Connection; from the creation of speeches at Speaking Out Workshop to the recitation of speeches at Caucus; from the first interactions at Mixer to the excitement of the Five-Years receiving their blue shirts, we staff members were able to watch something truly amazing, and that is the passing of the torch of leadership from our experience to theirs.
To watch such a transformation was to bear witness to the fulfillment of a promise made 45 years ago - that No Man Is An Island and No Man should ever stand alone - and that is enough to be able to say "we lived."
LYS love and ours,
Sam and Lindsey
Our many thanks to Sam Giberga and Lindsey Powell for putting their hearts out their to share their LYS experience with you.