Life changing.

As we went around the closing circle of the Governor’s Institute of Vermont (GIV) Current Issues and Youth Activist Programs last day those two words echoed in my head.

From the moment myself, Rose, Katie, David, Aideen, Aine and Rachel arrived in Vermont jet lagged, tired and apprehensive I knew this experience was going to stay with me for the rest of my life.

This programme describes itself as appealing to those who have a keen interest in activism and politics and they are certainly correct. Everyday we were involved in interesting and sometimes tough discussions on a variety of topics from Gun Control to Sexual Harassment, each discussion led by informed and amazing leaders who made the classes extremely interactive and informative. GIV has increased my interest in these topics and has made me sure I want a future career in working to stop these problems.

But GIV wasn’t all in the classroom it also was jam packed with exciting and worthwhile activities from strawberry picking to swimming in the local river. These activities gave us a chance to bond with our fellow camp mates from all over America and the world.

These classes and activities would have been nothing without the amazing guidance of the staff and leaders at GIV who were there for you if you had any kind of problem, query or just wanted a chat.

A highlight of the programme for me has to be walking in the 4th of July parade through the street of Brattleboro Vermont. Seeing all of our beautiful signs being welcomed by the people of Brattleboro gave me hope that change can happen and we can make this world a better place.

With 100% certainty I can say that signing up for this programme was and will always be one of the best decisions of my life and one I will never forget!