My 2016 NESAWG experience

By Sophia B

The journey to Hartford Connecticut for the NESAWG conference was a priceless experience. At the conference I got to: meet and mingle with people from all over the state and out, make friends, and learn a lot - not just food justice issues.

Most of the activities that I participated in were part of the youth tracks. In these sessions we got to know what other youth were doing and what can we teach each other. In one youth track session we talked about the election, what we thought about the results and what our next steps would be.

At the conference we were able to give our point of view as teens. We discussed the power we have, or could have, in our communities to make important decisions. I got a chance to present about MAP and the work that we do. For instance, I talked about our farm, the youth garden, our organizing group and the initiatives that we are working on. And while other youth presented we got to learn from them too, like they learned from us.

The last session I attended was grant writing it was an introduction to grants - how you get them and how to write a good proposal. This session was important to me because some of the plans I have in the future might need funding.

The conference theme this year’s was ‘Tackling wicked problems in the food system.’ We learned how you can learn more by looking for the answer to a question and not finding it than you do from just getting the answer itself. This is what I hope bring back to Buffalo. Wicked problems cannot be solved right away, you have to study them, take them apart and tackle them step by step.

 As you can see the NESAWG experience for me was a time of innovation but also having fun and thanks for making this wonderful experience possible for me.

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