This year’s Symposium left me with an overwhelming feeling of love, gratitude, compassion and a sense of home. As we know, a home is not a physical thing. Not a turn of a lock, the barking of the dog, or the waist high white picket fence. It’s the feeling of unconditional love, acceptance, and freedom of the ones around you.
It’s the people that you have a chance to connect with, during an interview, a meeting or a webinar that for a moment, you’re able to leave a piece of yourself with the people you’ve touched to take on their journey. At the end of that year, all of those pieces of yourself that’s been taken all over the globe, return back to you and you’re left a changed individual… or better yet, an individual for change.
Point Source Youth’s National Symposium was a chance to reconnect with the people I’ve been able to cry with, laugh with, and call my co-workers, friends, and even chosen family. This year I smiled way more than I should have, laughed until my sides hurt, and gave out many hugs, each one bigger than the last. Mending the connections that the year had chopped away, and creating new ones, was something that I had looked forward to in the months leading up to this conference, and I’m still in awe of the people I encountered.
Marc Dones’s witty humor and ability to morph a complicated topic into a digestible and appealing conversation are magic. I swear they’re a wizard and needs a spot as Vice President. Cynthia Langtiw’s grace and passion for her work, and the people she works for, are simply inspiring. I am speechless every time she puts her mouth to a microphone. Rocki Simoes from Avenues for Youth was someone I couldn’t wait to meet in-person after our Ask A Rockstar webinar together, As they walked out of the elevator, I grinned from ear to ear, and got the biggest hug that took my breath away.
These moments, that seem so small, are the ones that mean the most. The testimonies and relentless advocacy from the people who have ultimately changed my life are the reason why I am so invested in this field of work. As a musical theatre artist who swore for years that they’d be six feet under before I took a job in this field, I can honestly say, I’m glad I did.
Thank you the Point Source Youth Team for endless hours of planning and collaboration as well as to NYU for allowing us to once more come together as the fierce community of advocates, providers, funders, family and friends that we’ve become And finally an enormous thank you the students and community that came to support Point Source Youth’s mission of ending youth homelessness. Without you, we wouldn’t be here. YOU are the source of our energy. YOU are the creators of change.
Marcelle LaBrecque, Program Associate for Point Source Youth