The California teen conference was amazing. I felt a little more competent in my fosterclub abilities after all I learned in Oregon. The youth were so cool—they were the kind of kids that would’ve intimidated me with their talent back in high school. They were all strong, confident, and unafraid to give their feedback, which I appreciated because sometimes I struggle being assertive. I loved the way these youth just lay it all out on the table unapologetically. I was the tribal leader of the Shining Stars, which was comprised of a group of diverse, intelligent, intuitive Cali youth. It was really nice because I had less responsibility in California than I had in Oregon, which really allowed me to play around and get to know the youth, staff and my fellow all-stars on a more personal level.

The main thing I took from the youth in California was direct communication. Sometimes I shrink back, and it is something I am lucky enough to have the opportunity to work on through this internship. One of my favorite quotes is, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do.

We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” I think this summarizes what I am learning from this internship. That is all I intend and aspire to do. Thanks California attendees for being yourself. I appreciate your strength, and also that you were ‘strong enough to be weak’ with us at times.

Thanks guys, Greta