Since the early days of Y-WE, every year in the Spring, we host our biggest fundraising event of the year, historically called “Ignite.” This year, we renamed the event “Bloom,” and were excited to finally come together as a community, celebrate the impact of our programs, and highlight the youth leaders we are so lucky to serve. Due to the Omicron wave, we pivoted Bloom to be an online campaign that is highlighting the brilliant minds of these young leaders. We are still raising critical funds to expand our community of belonging.
For our fourth video in the Y-WE Bloom series, meet Syd, a youth participant in Y-WE programs! Huge thank you to Syd for sharing her wisdom, thoughts, ideas, and art with all of us.
Q: What does Y-WE mean to you?
A: Y-WE to me means a collective breath. Y-WE is a space where we can be without trying to be bought or sold and yet we are perfect and brilliant in our own little ways. And even though I may not know everyone, it always feels like home.
Q: What makes you feel most powerful?
A: I feel most powerful when I’m just seen. When I’m called by my name, when someone asks me my ideas, or when someone laughs at my jokes. I feel the most seen when I’m most empowered, and that to me is what Y-WE is a space to do, and be seen, and be empowered to be yourself and everything that you maybe can’t be in the world around you.
Q: How do you Bloom?
A: I Bloom through my words. Each word that I construct, each sentence that I say, whether that’s written or spoken, I feel is like a petal on my blossom.
Q: What does liberation look like?
A: Liberation to me looks like walking alone on a cold night, and I’m looking at the lake, and the stars are reflected in the water and so are the city lights. And neither of them outshine one another. They coexist equally and they are shining both brightly. And I look into the water and I see my face and I am defined by the edgeless reflection in the water. And together we’re all coexisting. And that is liberation.