When I saw that I got matched to YASI, I was hesitant about taking it because I had a bad experience with a past opportunity where all we did was sit back and listen to presentations. There was minimal engagement probably due to the fact that there were a little over 70 participants. I joined this past opportunity because it strongly connected to the profession that I want to take on which is being either a physician assistant or a physician. We only saw each other once every other week. There was little to no effort in trying to get participants to form bonds between each other. Over time, I lost interest in this opportunity. I used this bad experience as a basis of what my other opportunities could be comparable to. I initially saw YASI as just a source of income but I decided to take it on since it involved a field that I had not decided to take on.
When I joined the first session of YASI, I immediately knew that I would enjoy it. As the weeks progressed, I stopped viewing YASI as a potential job but instead an opportunity. Since our group involved only around 11 participants, we were able to truly engage with one another. Jenny and Karen both worked towards ensuring that everyone got along with one another. This is why when we first met together, we did not feel like strangers because we had spent so much time together over zoom that it felt like we were having a friend hangout. YASI has helped me to learn about issues that I didn’t know existed. I also learned the certain misconceptions that I had within myself about topics like people with disabilities or student-to-prison pipeline. I was unaware of the capacity to which people with disabilities have inaccessibility with services should be required. Learning about all these issues helped me to learn about the importance of inclusivity. I used to walk through life with a toxic type of mentality but now with all of the information that I was able to acquire with the help of this opportunity, I use the knowledge to think before acting or correct my way of thinking. Taking on YASI has brought a new type of inspiration to my life.
During the pandemic, I had lost much of the motivation that I previously had which made life feel like it did not have purpose. I became extremely inspired and a lot of the motivation that I had was reactivated. This is especially true when it came to creating the [In]accessible Flow campaign. It made me realize that I could help issues that I have thought about but have not taken on the initiative to do something about it. It also brought some confidence to my own set of skills. I realized that after YASI, I have what is required to make a change about animal rights. I have become inspired to start my own website about it. Overall, I have enjoyed every moment of being in YASI, especially Fridays. It taught me to always take on opportunities outside of my comfort zone because I may end up enjoying it more than I thought I would. I hope to take on another opportunity similar to this one.
Check Out Lexe’s YASI Campaign: [IN] Accessible Flow