A life-changing experience for Durham teens

by Roneisha Jackson
Teen Intern
The Durham VOICE

My experience at YO:Durham has been life-changing for me.

It gives me and other kids in the community something to do over the summer and also helps us to stay off the streets and out of trouble. I believe out of all the programs that help teens in Durham this one does just as it says it’s going to do. They will guide you in the right direction, give you advice and inform you on some things that your parents probably haven’t told you about.

YO: Durham intern Roneisha Jackson

For example, they talk to you about relationships (whether family, friends or neighbors) and also how to deal with personal problems that we may be dealing with at home. Let’s say you are having an argument with a parent or someone in your family. At YO:Durham they teach you how to express yourself without hurting your parents’ feelings and to say what you want to say with out getting yourself in trouble.

I believe that by the end of the program, they help you become a better person.  I think that I will leave YO:Durham educated on what is going on in the world because this is where I can let loose and no one can judge me accept myself.

Everyone has flaws.

I think people should only love you for the person you want to become. The person that you want to be is already inside of you. At YO:Durham they help you get to know that person better by helping you come out of the shell. In this way they also teach us how to embrace our flaws.

Once you begin to love yourself, you can go into the community and help other kids in need of a dramatic change – similar to the change I made in YO:Durham over the summer. What you learn are things that you will probably use for the rest of your life.

Along the way you meet new people that will inspire you to do what ever you want to do in life and push you to never give up on your dreams. I’ve learned that your dreams are never too high to reach. Every goal is achievable.

Also along the way you probably will make new friends that will be like family when you leave. I will give you a quote from one of these friends I made that keep me encouraged. I can count on these words to lift my spirits every time I hear them:

“A.C.T.” — meaning “Actions Conquer Terror” — Ciarra Jones.

This means always let your actions outweigh your terrors and never let what you are scared of get in the way of what you want to do in life.

Because if you do if you will never succeed.