We are halfway through the PFO year and I wanted to share about the journey so far, what I’ve learned, and how PFO has impacted me. This year has been incredible so far. I think the biggest difference from this year and last year for me personally, is that last year I was very focused on my self growth and learning to love/accept myself. This year I can use the tools I learned last year to create a safe environment for the new teens to step outside their comfort zone and explore the topic of self expression. I am also able to give of myself a lot more. This is because I am confident in who I am and I understand how I can give of that.

We have just ended our Committee Meetings. This is where teens are placed on one of five committees to create a product. There is the Children’s Book Committee, Photography Committee, Cookbook Committee, Anthology Committee, and Slam Poetry Committee. Each committee is led by an adult advisor and two leadership teens. I had the privilege of leading the Children’s Book Committee, alongside AJ, Ben and Allison. The experience was extraordinary to say the least. I saw all 14 of my committee members grow tremendously. We created an awesome book in only 8 weeks. I learned about being aware of everyone around me and aware of what I was feeling as well. This is a life skill that I use all the time after learning it in PFO. I find myself stepping up when working in a group in school and making sure everyone’s ideas are being heard because that’s what makes a great leader. 

Another thing I have felt this year is that I am making a difference. PFO has really shown me that I matter and I DO make a difference. Whether I see it in the way I have allowed my committee members to explore ideas without judgment or in the preparations I help with before events, I feel as if I have impacted someone. My actions matter and I have the power to choose what I want to do with my actions. We had a Lifetalk about choices and that stuck with me. Everyone matters and everyone has the power to make change, but it is their choice what they want to channel that power into. Knowing that I have the power to choose, makes me much more aware of what I am doing because I know whatever I am doing is my choice. 

The year is only half way done and I’m feeling stronger than ever!! Cant wait to see what the second half of the year has in store for me.