We have grown up in a society that insists on telling you what it was doing when it was your age. At this point in life, you may have encountered one or two people who assured you that at your age they had invented the hot fudge sundae pop tart or built a robotic cat with their teeth. Thanks to my time in PFO, I have learned that we each have something to contribute, no matter what stage of life we’re in. But what makes PFO important is that it believed in us, the youth of the world. It believed in our present, just as much as it believed in our future. It believed we could communicate with adults in a corporate environment. It believed we could run a nonprofit. It believed we could build a set for a musical. It believed we could raise thousands of dollars in less than a year. It believed that a large group of people could have a diverse set of skills and still come together to create something successful, impactful, and unique.

In my case, it taught me that my ability to build websites was useful for something other than updating my now completely and totally abandoned Pirates of the Caribbean guild on Neopets.

My wish for PFO is that it continues to believe in our youth, continues to give our youth something to believe in, and continues to give our youth a reason to believe in themselves.

You gave your time and your talent to an organization that by its tenth anniversary had given $113,000 to other local nonprofits, hosted numerous arts festivals in a city rich with a diverse culture of art, put smiles on the faces of hundreds of children, and gave hope to your community.

Perhaps you did this using a robotic cat. Perhaps not. Perhaps you used what worked for you. Perhaps you dug up an old skill you’d forgotten about. Perhaps PFO even helped show you a new one. But no matter how you did it, what you must remember is this: you did it when you were your age.