Chris

I joined the program on the 3rd week and attended the 4th Annual Youth Assembly Program. Manhattan Multicultural Counseling gave me the opportunity to experience the real world. It doesn’t just show you the world you know, a whole different spectrum that you can’t even fathom. On the first day of lecture, all I was thinking was “this was the worst mistake ever.” Why would I be recommending this program? I am doing this for a simple reason; exactly one hour after I said that, my opinion completely changed. You learn many things from this program, from the simplest of etiquette to building a water filtration system. This program inspires you and takes you to the edge of your seat.     

The first day of the program was not that exciting. I was hoping to meet senators, many important people that you see on T.V, and I was hoping that I would be brought into many sophisticated conversations, but that wasn’t the case. My first day was in an auditorium filled with other students just like me and they talked and talked and talked. Being the kid I am I can only sit still for so long, so I felt uncomfortable.  I was thinking of quitting the program, but for some reason I gave it another chance, and I am glad I did.      

The second day was a totally different experience. There were many speakers who talked about their own experiences, and you could tell it came from their hearts. There was Brian O’ Leary who was an astronaut and astrophysicist, who was talking about global warming, how it was destroying the entire world, and how there were many solutions. He blurted out all sorts of solutions and even how to accomplish them, but he said the only thing holding him back were the people because we are so reluctant to change and don’t even believe there is really a problem.

Then there was another speaker, Bernard Amadei from Engineers without Borders, who had me on the edge of my seat, literally. The first thing he told everyone was that they should be ashamed of themselves because of what they have done to this earth. Then he told everyone that he and a group of his students; people no different than us decided they wanted to make a difference and did. Then he asked us why we hadn’t, and no one answered. He told how he created a water filtration pump that ran on natural power and that he let his students do it. His words went straight to you and you wanted to hear more. It was like we were getting in trouble but at the same time we were learning. I can honestly say that I gave him a standing ovation at the end of his speech.

I have to say that there were many great speakers but there were two that just inspired me the most. One of them was Scott Sullivan, a man who came up from nothing, succeeded and became rich. The thing with Scott was that he never forgot where he came from, and when Hurricane Katrina hit, Mr. Sullivan put on his boots, made food for about 200 people and set out to help those in need anyway he could. He snuck past six security posts just to help people. Now you might not understand the severity of this - he could have gone to jail for life for infiltrating a government’s property - and why did he do it you ask? There is a simple answer: he loves helping those in need and that is his job or fun.

The other seminar which greatly influenced me was “The Art of Living.” Now this seminar taught many of the people attending how to do many things. The speaker told us his own life experience and how he chose what he wanted to be. He told us that he liked his job so much that he left his house on Christmas so that he could get a sale. He made the seminar so interactive by allowing people to share their interests. For example, he asked one young lady what she wanted to be.  She didn’t know how to choose between politics and computer software. He simply said, “You can make computer software that allows you to vote from your house or allows candidates to share their policies that affect you personally.” After the seminar I personally thanked him because he helped me make up my mind and now I know what I want to be when I am finished with college.     
          
In its entirety the program was a success and what was promised was given. I can even say that during that week I was glad to get up early in the morning and travel almost one hour to get to the UN in order to be on time for the program. I love to sleep late but this program gave me a kick to get up early and leave the house catch to the bus, then transfer to a train in order to be on time to meet the director of the program. I must admit that I even used my own savings to join the program and it was a worthy mini summer vacation in Manhattan.

 

 

ALL human beings are born FREE and EQUAL in dignity and rights. 

-Universal Declaration of Human Rights