Government Education Days (GED) 2015: A Student’s Perspective

Written by YouthBuild student, Angel Telphy.

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Cloud & Fire YouthBuild students stand in front of the State Capital in Sacramento.

Finding out about the opportunity to travel to Sacramento was great and I immediately said “yes” in my mind. Once I knew for sure that the trip was in motion, I started talking to a few of the girls about what we all felt it would be like. Though it seemed like forever for the day to come when we’d hop in our Cloud & Fire van and drive to L.A. to get on a bus, the wait was worth it! I felt a little nervous to leave but I got very excited once that morning came.

Being on the road for 6 and a half hours wasn’t as bad as I expected it to be. There was television, Wi-Fi, outlets to charge your phones, iPod’s, etc. It was nice! Once we arrived in Sacramento we gathered our bags and waited to settle into our rooms…that wait felt longer than the bus ride.

There was barely enough time to sleep in the great days ahead of us. We got to meet YouthBuild students from all over, A.V. YouthBuild, Compton YouthBuild, Oregon YouthBuild, San Fernando Valley YouthBuild, and YouthBuild Institute…there was plenty more, and I even saw some familiar faces. We had the chance to rotate around because they wanted us to interact with everyone and know that this was our family. There were ice breakers, folders with information inside, and games to play. It was also a chance for anyone who was willing to run for CSTAC, an alumni council. We had dinner (which tasted awesome) then headed to our rooms, had a talk and went to sleep. Everyone had to be up early because they had a lot planned for us. We had breakfast, lunch, and dinner served to us. We got colors placed on our name tags and whichever color you had that was the group you had to be with. In our groups we were all sent to different workshops. In one of the workshops we learned about different “-isms,” adult-ism, sex-ism, racism, etc. It was good learning about these things that most of us do every day without realizing it. Later that night we had a celebration for all of us YouthBuilders and played games, had karaoke, and gave prizes to the winners.

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Our students met with Assembly Member Adrin Nazarian for an in-depth conversation where they shared personal stories, the importance of Cloud & Fire YouthBuild, leadership, community needs, and advocating for more funding through a specified legislature.

Our last day in Sacramento, we met Adrin Nazarian, an assembly member of the forty-sixth district for Van Nuys, Ca. We got a tour of the “white house” of Sacramento (State Capital). The Governor’s office was there, along with pictures of Arnold S., Jerry Brown, Ronald Reagan, and many more. We learned about how the government was back then, and we saw the safe from 1846, I believe. There were also spit cans by the chairs where they wrote laws and those were used for the men who chew Tobacco. We got to hold imitations of the silver coins that were $20.00 back then which was a lot in those days.

Everyone from my YouthBuild took pictures, played card games, and talked about how this experience would change our lives and not to mention give us more knowledge. One thing I loved about this trip was a saying they had us do: “YOUTHBUILD YOUTHBUILD HOW YA’LL FEELIN’?”  And we’d say “IGHT IGHT!” I’ll keep that locked in my head for life! After visiting the State Capital we said our goodbyes. Overall I am glad I didn’t back down and got to live this chapter in my life. I would do it all over again if we had the chance tomorrow!

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About the Author

Angel Telphy is a current YouthBuild student and part of the YouthBuild Policy Council (YBPC).

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