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 is my second year in PFO and going into it, I expected my journey throughout the year to be about the same as it was last year. The thing I didn’t realize is that it’s not JUST what committee I’m on or what Arts Experience I’m in that shapes my year, it’s all about what new people I meet and what new relationships I form. The other people in PFO are what makes it so special, the environment that we create is so special and unique and that’s the main thing that I’ve realized this year. I can’t imagine my life without the people and friends that I’ve made in PFO. They are the best people that I know, not just the best teens or kids but the best PEOPLE. PFO gives us a place to be, to just BE ourselves and nobody else and that is what makes it special. My parents like to joke around and say, “I thought PFO was going to make you nicer. Looks like that didn’t happen!” I laugh along (of course) because they think it is funny and I give them the pleasure of a good joke. What they seem to miss is that PFO isn’t about pumping out “nice” teens, it’s about leaving them be and seeing who emerges. Maybe I’m not “nice”, but I am compassionate and passionate and kind, and I know that about myself because of PFO. I didn’t expect anything different from this year of PFO, but now I know that I was wrong. Each year of PFO will be different and transformative because there will always be new teens who have qualities that I will learn to see in myself.