This is my recap on how enlightening the Free Minds Free People Conference was in the spirit of love and healing. The following is an awakening of pure human interaction that you can't experience at the office. At the Free Minds Free People conference in Baltimore, some real life magic took place. The opening was done by a brilliant man by the name of Shawn Ginwright (accompanied by a panel of young people) who spoke on the problems America is facing today. From oppression to radical healing, the audience was definitely in sync. People from the audience got up to ask questions, some cried, some shared stories to connect, and other members of the panel shared stories that touched everyone. The audience was very diverse which made this moment of unison more powerful.
After the opening was complete and the tears were dried, a feeling seeped in. It was almost as if something ancient stirring inside of us opened our eyes and we saw each other's soul, not the avatar it resides in. Not long after it was finally time for workshops. I, being extremely intrigued by Shawn’s insight on radical healing, went to the Radical Healing workshop. Now to paint a picture of what RAD Healing truly is, I would say, Radical Healing is nuanced because everybody has a different struggle as well as different wounds that require different methods of recovery. Radical Healing is a concept made up of 5 Principles.
I am enrolled in college and don’t really have a specific project I’m working on at the moment but I do look forward to seeing what the campus has to offer in terms of being a researcher and youth activist.
Some of the most important lessons I learned during the summer was teamwork. We were all extremely new to the process of being researchers, facilitators, note takers, and coders but we knew that we had a goal we had to reach so everyone tried their best and did was the in the best interest of our overall goal not personal preferences.
My favorite part was in the morning walking in and seeing everybody energy each and every day to work harder and the willingness to improve it helped everyone get tasks done.
The summer program strengthened me by making me a proper time manager and taught me how to get humongous acts done in short period of times which is extremely helpful in college.
In the future I plan on working with the institute again to help our outreach get to as far as it possibly can and raise awareness everywhere we can.
The advice I would give new researchers or new members of the team would be to work hard. They can do it or else they wouldn’t have been chosen. Sarah and team are really good at picking people for the job so if they picked you that mean you have what it takes so don’t undercut yourself and let them help you reach your true potential.
And to end, I would just like to say Sarah is the best boss ever and the skills I learned from her, Jen, and Lisa are skills I can use in any aspect of my life at any time that will help me hopefully stand out when working.
The beginning of college was the beginning of a new stage in my life. All of a sudden, I didn’t have classes from 8-3 with homework due on a daily basis. College in comparison to high school was freedom. However, that mindset will not successful get you through college. The freedom college gives you is comes with responsibilities. The freedom of having a class one or twice a week requires you to remember assignments and deadlines because your teacher is not obligated to remind you- especially if you’re a working student.
In order to balance work and school, it is important to take on only as much as you physically and mentally can. College is a journey and work should aide you along that journey. Therefore, look for jobs or internships that relate directly or indirectly to your major and/or intended career path. Maintaining a schedule is also important, schedules allow you to keep track of your assignments, work shifts and social life. A well maintained schedule allows you to know when you are taking on too many responsibilities and keeps you and everything around you organized. As a college freshman, I am still learning how to balance school and my extracurricular, but as long as my goal is to graduate in four years with my bachelors and a high GPA, I believe everything will balance out in the end.
- Monica M.
Hi! My name is Heaven Fernandez and I was born & proudly raised in the big apple!
Becoming a part of ICI was completely unexpected. Around the age of 18, when I still attended high school, one of my counselors introduced me to these focus groups based on how we, the people, can make the community a better place. Once I heard that I said "I’m interested!” with no hesitation. Helping our people, the youth , and our community is always something that I’ve been interested in doing.
During the last focus group I attended, I met a wonderful woman named Jennifer Tang. We had a great conversation. I wrote my name down on a piece of paper hoping to follow up on a job opportunity & Jennifer reached out to me. I was invited to join the Intergenerational Change Initiative. Once I joined ICI, we quickly started to prepare for an important meeting with representatives from ACS & the DOE. We were a bit nervous about it at first but we devised a plan. Our team split into groups & got straight to work!
This meeting meant a lot to us. This was our way of expressing the youth's perspective and how such agencies can improve. We know our research can help address some of the challenges.
The meeting went swell! The agency’s professionals took everything we spoke about into consideration. But our job doesn't stop now. Were still grinding! We’re still going to help our communities as much as we can!
- Heaven F