Friday, July 17 – Students prepare for next week’s sessions and meet with SEA Executive Director Tim Wyant

Over the past three days, our Tour participants have been busy getting acquainted with each other, preparing for next week’s meetings, and discussing the topics they are most passionate about. Climate change, healthcare, and immigration are just some of the issues that are on the minds of our students. To learn about what a few of our Tour participants are looking forward to and eager to discuss with our speakers, check out the reflections below.

In addition to preparing for next week, the group spent some time talking with SEA’s Executive Director Tim Wyant today. Tim reflected on his experience as the first Executive Director of CitySquash and his role leading SEA, but the bulk of the conversation was led by our students. The group asked questions about future goals for SEA, how member programs will continue to operate during the pandemic, and the importance of having more leaders and staff members of color working in the SEA network.”Through listening to the discussion, I realized how many passionate peers I was gathered with and how lucky I was to hear their well thought questions,” says San Diego student Abigail. “Additionally, I learned how much thought the leaders of SEA had put into the program I was luckily a part of. Through the entire questioning with Mr. Wyant, I saw how transparent he was about the history and actions of SEA.”

We can’t wait for more great conversations next week with our inquisitive and thoughtful group of students!

Student Reflections

Abigail – Access Youth Academy
Before joining the Tour, I was so moved by the opportunities that it provided. I knew through the experience that I would get to ask the strong people in power all of the pressing questions that fill my brain. Also, being the curious person that I am, I saw the Tour as an outlet where I could listen, interact, and learn so much from my peers, staff, and speakers. Overall, I am not looking forward to one thing, person, or talk, I am looking forward to learning more about every person’s perspective, history, and experience. I think those facts are what shape a person and I am ready to challenge the speakers with deep questions.

Considering the current situation in the world with these unprecedented times of the COVID-19 outbreak and the recent spark of the Black Lives Matter movement, I believe that this tour will be different from the rest because these issues are in all of our minds. Personally, as a person of color I know that the environment that I am surrounded by has left me with unanswered questions, strong opinions, and a search for answers. In that search, I know that I need to be open minded and hear everyone through. I am looking forward to hearing from our speakers, and asking if they are in support of this civil rights movement and why. The ideas of these very powerful people in power is what helps define the nation, so I see it as so rewarding to get to soon hear from those individuals.

Julissa – Capitol Squash
I have always been passionate about advocating for an equitable healthcare system that does not neglect and negatively affect women and people of color. With the COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately affecting communities of color, specifically the Black and Indigenous communities, I have become even more drawn to this topic.

By attending this year’s Citizenship Tour, I see myself learning new ways to raise awareness and address this issue that I am so passionate about. Furthermore, I hope that I am able to influence the people I meet on tour, to realize the gravity of the issue and use their huge platform to advocate for a fairer healthcare system.

Tyan – MetroSquash

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