Helloooo tSB Fam! I’m super sad to be saying that this will be my last blog post as tSB’s Development and Communications intern on. Although this part of my journey with tSB is coming to an end, I will still be on the Board as the Youth Advisory Board member. So without further ado, let’s jump into this month’s post!
“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” – Maya Angelou
If someone would’ve told me that I’d commit 3 years of my life to tSB when I was a freshman, I wouldn’t have believed them. I still cannot believe that I’ve been with tSB for so long. When I reflect on my life and where I am now, I realize how much tSB has been my go-to support system for the past three years. Honestly, I don’t think that I’ve changed much. My mentors, on the other hand, would tell you I’ve grown out of my shell and have taken a full 180. I only reflect and register how many transitions and changes I have gone through after someone points out how experienced I am, how inspiring I am, and how proud I should be. I don’t necessarily take in compliments very easily, but it makes me think of all the things that I’ve been through to get here. I feel that this quote really applies to me, but applies to a lot of people in the community. I like to take in the moment and really enjoy what I’m doing (tSB taught me this!). I hardly ever realize the hurdles I’ve jumped and the obstacles I’ve crossed that made me who I am.
Transitions are hard, sometimes even scary! Within tSB alone I have been through over 3 transitions. I wouldn’t say that I’m completely afraid of transitions, and in a way, I’ve gotten comfortable with them, but I’ve definitely had my ups and downs with each transition. During my Prophet year (first-year program attendee), I started off the year with my Program Coordinator rolling off, and though I never met her in person I talked to her a lot over text before I found out that she had to leave her role. This transition wasn’t super sad for me because I couldn’t connect a name to a face so my emotional attachment was limited. The hardest thing about transitions for me happen when I am attached to something or someone and have a hard time accepting or fully understanding the change.
The hardest transitions happened during my Peer Leader year (second-year program attendee). Becoming a Peer Leader was super fun! Honestly I just felt like I was offered another year of Program but with new prophets! Going from 2 weekly meetings to 3 was a bit harder because I started being more active in school clubs, but I liked the feeling of being busy. As a PL I helped facilitate the Wednesday program nights and that took a bit of getting used to, as I hadn’t really been in a facilitating role as often as I had to be with tSB. It was super nice to learn more about each UIO (Undoing Institutionalized Oppression), social and environmental justice topics, and overall how each of my PL friends liked to lead. Little did we know that our PL year would be compacted in a laptop for the last half of our year.
As things worsened in the world regarding COVID-19, tSB had turned completely virtual in just 2 weeks. We had a new coordinator before the year started, so we at least had someone to depend on and ask questions to. We were unsure how Core Program would progress. During our training period in late September 2019, we met Carmen! Carmen was really great and I really appreciated how understanding and flexible they were when we were navigating our way through Zoom meetings. Earlier this year she transitioned out of her role and that took me a bit to process. I was so baffled at the idea of having to find a new coordinator in just one year, but I understood it all.
Additionally, just before I became a PL, I found out that Cole, the Program Manager at the time, was leaving tSB. Even though this was pre-COVID, it started my PL year with a bit of sadness. The manager who would always say ‘hi’ to me and be the life of the party would no longer be with me during my PL experience. I’m so appreciative of Cole and everything that he has done for me. Cole is actually the reason why I decided to come back to tSB. My Prophet experience was unlike any program I had been a part of and Cole was the first person I met. The impression was impactful, as you can tell! I really looked up to Cole, I loved watching him run program nights from behind the scenes. He always looked so cool and I looked at him as the person I wanted to be when I got a job. Him leaving tSB was a bit more challenging for me, but I knew that Cole would continue to do more dope things in life.
This year was also filled with transitions. The beginning of the year started with a very quick 2-month process of me helping Nick (former Board Chair) and Lacie (Executive Director) create the Youth Advisory Board seat. I’ve already mentioned this before, but I felt an incredible amount of support in the whole process. I honestly came to them with a plan that had many holes in it, but they helped me through patching up the flaws of the position and ensured that my opinion and thoughts were a priority in the description of the position. I was more excited than scared for this move into a board seat, as I had already been familiar with the board and wanted to learn more by delving into the many committees that we have. Of course, I couldn’t leave out my transition into the development and communications intern!
Oh man, this was the hardest change that I had to get used to. Initially, I fell in love with tSB because of Program – I mean, I was the most connected to Program and had a pretty good 2-year streak going, but I wanted to be more involved in the development and behind-the-scenes side of tSB. I wanted to know how we worked, what made tSB tic, and more importantly, how I could integrate more youth into all our processes. I hadn’t considered that I had to change my mindset for that to happen, and that really set me back during my training. My head was stuck in the program world, and I struggled to switch views so that I could support our program from the development aspect of things. I’m pretty sure that it took me about 3 months to get into the development mindset. Even though I still think about Program often, fundraising and communications are all that I can think about.
Similar to that transition in mindset, I am now transitioning into fulfilling my board member role to the fullest. I haven’t exactly thought about whether or not I’m going to be involved in Program next year or if I’m going to apply to the program internship role, but I don’t think it’s hit me that I’m actually taking a huge step back from tSB. I recently had one of my last check-ins with Layla (Director of Development and Communications) and though I was sad, I feel very unfazed. Maybe it’s because my brain hasn’t fully registered that I’m leaving another position or the fact that I’m leaving such a major role. Going into the Wintern position, I didn’t have many expectations as I wanted to be surprised and open to learning, but I had this thought that would always come to the surface every now and then. After this internship, I might be done with tSB forever. I’m not exactly sure how to put it, and this blog I feel has been all over the place, but it scares me that this may be my end with tSB…forever.
Of course, right now I don’t think so, I’m hopeful. I don’t know where I’ll end up in life, whether that be across the country, the city, or the world, but as I said before, I’m going to live and enjoy what is happening right now so that I don’t regret anything. Yes, I’m sad to be moving out of my role with tSB and yes, I occasionally think about where my future is headed, but I think I’m on a good path. Switching positions and roles in tSB have always been strange to me, but who knows what capacity I’ll be able to support tSB in next? Even if that will be in 5 years or 5 months, I’m glad I spent my high school years with tSB. The changes our organization has gone through have taught me so much and I’m excited to cheer tSB on from a board member role for the time being.
This entry is coming to an end, and I wanted to say thank you so much to everyone who has supported Elaine’s Edge throughout the past 6 months. As I transition this blog to view more of my board member duties and experiences, don’t forget that I want to hear your opinions and ideas for upcoming blogs! Also, check out details on our website for the tSBlock Party to meet me and some awesome youth artists in our new tSB community in Columbia City!
Later, tSB fam!