On the last day of the third year of YONA, we gathered as one big group to reflect together on our year! We watched a beautiful slideshow created by Ms. Jacquie, and took time to reflect on "what YONA means to me", writing our thoughts on pieces of paper, sharing them out loud, and dropping them into a time capsule box that we'll re-open someday in the future.
One by one, the students, teachers, and volunteers shared beautiful memories and feelings, and were rewarded with Freezies once they'd done so (which served a double purpose - they cooled us down AND kept our mouths quiet while others were sharing!). Then we took to the playground for break, said goodbye to our teams from this year, and joined up for one giant final-day picture.
What struck me throughout this day was how much of a family YONA is. "Family" was the most-used word by the students when talking about what YONA means to them, and it got me wondering why they (and we, the staff) feel that way. I realized that, just like any family, we sometimes have our disagreements or difficulties, but in the end we know that we love each other deeply and unconditionally. I hope that this love comes across in these photos - I'm so grateful that I get to feel it every time I'm with this amazing group of people.
Thank you for following the YONA story this year! We'll be posting a couple of student profiles throughout the summer so you don't miss us too much, and we'll be back up and running in the fall - stay tuned, and have a great summer!
post by Alyssa Paterson, YONA Manager
photos by Carmyn Joy Effa