Hello! My name is Fatima Gonzalez. I am trying to reach my goal of raising $3,000 in order to be able to attend my third Global Service Leadership Trip to Cape Town, South Africa this summer. By contributing to my campaign you will be demonstrating your commitment to youth empowerment and recognising young people’s potential to change the future. I hope that you will be able to support me and allow me to represent our community internationally.
Personally, I find great pleasure and inspiration in hearing other people’s stories as it creates a new deeper level understanding between two strangers or even may reveal things you never knew about someone. As a way for you to get to know me better I have written my own “Y story” about my first global service trip to Costa Rica.
Through my involvment Leaders Club I was given the amazing opputunity to be apart group of YMCA teens on the Global Service Leadership trip to Costa Rica in 2018. I now look back on this trip as one of the most influential and memorable events of my life. One of my favorite moments on the trip was the "Night of Solitude" in which we filled a bus to the brim with donated clothes and food then traveled to San Jose to distribute the donations to the homeless population by hand. I had no idea what to expect and I had no idea that the interactions I had that night would impact me so greatly. Here were these people who literally have nothing, no education, no job, no home; yet they were light hearted. My group and I had such a great night with the people of San Jose but there was still an air of sadness around us as we worked. After that night I laid awake thinking,”How come these people have so much less than me yet are still so happy?" I soon came to two conclusions, one being that happiness doesn't and can't material objects. Then I came to the second conclusion, that true happiness comes from serving others. Serving others from the bottom of your heart makes you feel real and amazing and truly present. Your service becomes something that you always think back on and feel proud about. This is why I will always cherish this trip as one of the best weeks of my life.
All of these countless lessons, memories and experiences have truly, truly changed my life. Not only have these things shaped who I am today, but they also shape the person that I strive to become in the future. To be honest I don’t even want to think about what kind of person I would be if I never found the YMCA. With your support, I will be able to keep serving my community at home and be an excellent representative of it while I am away. Thank you!