From Callie Aguilar, Grants Manager.
A few days ago, I represented NYLC at WE Day amidst a crowd of 18,000 screaming youth leaders at the Xcel Energy Center. I have attended WE Day the past two years, gaining an appreciation for the scale of service taking place in this state. Data shared by the Minnesota Department of Education indicated that over 197,000 youth are engaged in service programs, up 204% from the 2013-2014 school year!
Perhaps the most poignant message of the day came from the first woman of color in space — physician, scientist, engineer, explorer and futurist, Dr. Mae Jemison — who compared our human makeup to that of stars.
She shared: “When I look at the world today, I look at it like I did from space. As humans, our bodies contain metals – the same metals found in the composition of stars.
“Each one of us is the result of billions of years of creation. Our obligation is to figure out what we are going to contribute to the future.
“The reality is, we will not all get off this planet. Our life is here and our mission is to make sure we figure out how to share this planet by including everyone in our journey and trying to do the best for everyone.”
As I think about those words, I compare them to the recently-released service statistics. Minnesota can proudly claim that we have more stars shining brighter and reaching further now than ever before.