September 24, 2014

Being a Co-President of the Interfaith Youth Council of Orange County meant more than just helping run meetings. It was an amalgamation of several different positions and skills. It meant being a leader, a public speaker, a team member, a person of capable of understanding, a listener, and an individual of faith. It’s a position that some, including myself in my first year with IYCOC, might find intimidating. However, by the time I had found myself as Co-President, nothing could have come more naturally. Merely being a member of the council prepared me for nearly every meeting, mishap, or opportunity. Looking back on the monthly meetings of my first year, I find that it’s impossible to pinpoint which lesson or day contributed the most to my growth. Everything that we do is a learning opportunity, a potential for growth. This includes the planned meetings and painstakingly organized forums, to the impromptu, supplementary coffee-shop meet-ups and outside volunteer opportunities. Each event, forum, or meeting teaches us to be assertive and respectfully make our points heard, to be understanding and take the time to listen to others, to be generous and give our time to other people or organizations that could use the help just us much as we could, to be confident and take the initiative that is necessary to lead others or make change, and, perhaps most importantly, to celebrate and respect our differences and use our similarities to work towards a more understanding future.

~Kirat Kaur Kohli

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