" Whatever an education is, it should make you a unique individual, not a conformist: it should furnish you with an original spirit with which to tackle the big challenges; it should allow you to find values which will be your roadmap through life; it should make you spiritually rich, a person who loves whatever you are doing, wherever you are, whomever you are with; it should teach you what is important, how to live and how to die." - John Taylor Gatto
Standing up...to the big goals
I can't wipe the ear-to-ear grin off my face, because every other thought is taken over by the reality check that " it's happening!" For those of you that do not know the full story, this little entry is for you~
In the Spring of 2011 a good friend Heidi had just returned to Maui from a visit to a program in Sweden called Youth Initiative Program (YIP). I was about to embark on a three month long travel and she convinced me that I needed to take a moment to hear about her recent travels and findings. So I did. A week later I got on the first of many planes and spent the next three months obsessing over the YIP website. I knew that I had finally found something that called to me in a Huge way!
You see, I did start college and what little taste I had for the place was quickly lost on my confused 16 year old mind. I simply could not make sense of pursuing studies that I wasn't passionate about, and in the meantime picking up debt. So I left.
I get the idea that people sometimes base my decision of choosing to not continue on the College path as a lack of intelligence/motivation/drive. Fortunately this is not my truth. My truth is that my Passions are so big and diverse that I simply have not found a place to rest them. I am 21 years old and I am still learning so much about who I am today and who I would like to become. I am choosing to have patience so that I may come to a fuller understanding of myself before even contemplating my societies idea of success (university/student loans etc.)
So as part of my journey of self and discovery and of the world at large, I will be attending YIP with my Sweetheart, Kalani, because we have both been accepted!!!!! It feels like I've just received a letter from Hogwarts and that all of my suspicion over being different is at rest as I will be surrounded by like minded individuals ;) Oh the relief, haha..
* Please note- I am in no way preaching that my way is better than any others, only that I have found a way that is working for me thus far.
What is YIP?
Every day for the past 8 months, I've been asked, at least once "What is YIP?" This has proven to be a very difficult question, and I thought that by now I would have a clear concise answer...but, I don't. First of all, I'm experiental, and I have never visited the grounds or even been to Sweden. My ridiculous amount of excitement is based of off others shared visits, articles I've found online, and of course their website. Based of these combined sources, this is what I do know.
"YIP is a social entrepreneur training for youth who want to create a positive social change in the world."
Okay, so I'm gonna try to break it down for ya. Myself and Kalani are part of a group of 23 individuals between the ages of 18 and 25. The student body, in full will be hailing from Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Finland, France, Germany, Latvia, Norway, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States & Zimbabwe. We will be living and eating together under the same roof for a full 9 months.
What we will be learning
SOOoOOOO Much! The program is very broad. I have been viewing it as a place to bring your Passions and Ideas. The program in fact asks that we each take a responsibility for our educational experience, as in "you get what you put in". YES! As for some of the core principles and guidelines that YIP readily makes available here are a few: Social Entrepreneurship, Holistic World View, Initiative, Anthroposophy.
There are also two other main experiences that will carry us through our year.
1. A bevy of contributors that will arrive from all areas of the world to share their experiences and initiatives.
2. An international Internship abroad in a country of your choice, pursuing an initiative of your choice.
What I am excited for!
There is too much, it almost hurts to think about it in full.
I am excited to have a proper dorm experience. I've been so fortunate to have been able to experience renting and living in a house of my own since I was 17. I think it will be healthy for me to be sharing my living space with individuals that I do not know. I am also really looking forward to interacting with peers my age that are motivated and have a strong driving force. I love all of my friends, but many of them are much older, this will also be new in itself. And of course Sweden, the snow and a long winter. I will undoubtedly be homesick for waterfalls and beaches, but thats the point. I want to be homesick! This list could go on forever, so I'll just wrap it up with all the amazing potential to be put out of my comfort zone, and be forced to expand and grow. I know it doesn't get an better than that. On that note, I will place the site's address below, so that you may explore it more if you wish.
I originally started this site and blog as a means to get our/my Mission YIP message out to our surrounding community. Now that we are on our way, please stay tuned for updates and of course documentation as we make our way through the world.
Kalani and I will be leaving sometime around the 8th of September. Till then we will be working madly on the many projects at hand. The property being the biggest, but also renting out the house Fundraising and of course Funraising!
We will also more than likely have a kick ass dance party before we leave!