Kyara’s YPI Reflection

For my YPI project my group and I decided to take on the topic of
unemployed veterans. We chose this topic because one of our group
members had an uncle who struggled with his life economically and
mentally when coming back from war. In addition we are approaching the
age that many teens may chose to take a few years off from college and
decide to go to war. This project was a very interesting experience
from researching to presenting. When doing the research I learned so
much about many other social issues that surrounded, is caused by, or
is a result of unemployed veterans. I grew a strong connection and
passion for this topic when I discovered the problems such as suicide,
homelessness, and more that arise for unemployed veterans, but my true
passion emerged after we found and met the people of our organization
IAVA (Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America).
IAVA uses a numerous amount of programs to make the
transition for veterans and their families as easy as possible when
they come home. They use one on one mentoring groups to make it a more
intimate process for the veterans. Going to the site visit was an
amazing experience because it was so great to see so many sweet and
welcoming people so passionate about a specific topic. It was such a
warm and colorful environment and putting yourself in the shoes of a
veteran who walks in to that atmosphere you can see just how helpful
that could be for them. We interviewed Mr.Hansman, a former veteran
himself, and we were struck by how much this topic and program really
meant to him because coming home he also ran into some bumps in the
road. The last thing they showed us before we left our visit was the
wall of why. The Wall of Why reminds the workers and volunteers there
why they do this,  with pictures of what they have accomplished so far
and thank you notes from the families of people they have already
helped this wall keeps them moving forward in their journey.
This project has not only helped me learn about my social
issue and what I can do to help, it has also showed about all the
various other issues there are in the world from topics my peers chose
to work with. It has also given me a taste of the feeling you get when
you feel like you are making a difference in someone’s life,even if it
is simply through educating others on the problem. I also discovered
that making a difference is not as hard or as far away as it seems, it
is simply about taking the first small step of action and you are
hooked. On a more personal level I learned about what my peers want to
change in the world and learned about some connections in or thinking,
passions, and goals. Overall, this project was helpful in teaching me
how to turn my passion into a solution while incorporating public
speaking tactics that will do the same for the people I educate on the
issue I want to change.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *