It didn’t seem so big then, but as I moved away, the world expanded around me. A big place, a hard place, a complicated place, expanding and enveloping me, unreliable and confusing. While PFO didn’t make it any smaller, it did create room for me to look around, not have it all figured out, and go into the world anyway. Room for me to be myself, to try new things, to be creative, to take risks, to be wrong, be humble, be proud.

More than that, it was a safe space.

I’m so grateful to all of y’all for holding this space for me then, and now, to learn and grow. The world feels a little smaller, a little less confusing, and a little less complicated knowing that y’all are all over the world taking space to be yourselves and making space for others to do the same. My wish for PFO over the next 10 years is that we will continue to do this for anyone and everyone we meet, in PFO and beyond, because the world is big and confusing and hard, but it’s a hell of a lot easier with a community like this one.

-Leah Whitehead, Class of 2013