Y’s Higher Ed, Youth & Government Programs Gave Her Confidence, New Skills

High school senior Julia Shirley says, “The Avondale Meadows YMCA has had a huge impact on my life.” The active young adult explains more about the Y’s impact and how it’s helped shape her future…

Julia Shirley From nervous to comfortable

The programs that I have participated in have really opened my eyes. Over the years, I have had the opportunity to attend several college tours and workshops with the Y-Achievers program and have been active in the Indiana YMCA Youth & Government. When I first joined Youth and Government, I was nervous. I am not really one to speak out in front of a lot of people, but as I got further into the program, I began to get comfortable with my Delegation and speaking to an audience of people.

I have attended and enjoyed the Model Legislature Conference as a Delegate at the Indiana Statehouse for four years. There is a lot of debating, speaking against and for bills. I also attended Nationals at the Blue Ridge Mountain in North Carolina, meeting people from 48 states where I have spoken on proposals.

Last summer, I did an internship with Tom Wood Automotive as part of the Y-Achievers new school-to-work component and gained real world experience and a lot of new friends.

Julia Shirley On Be a better you

Through all of these experiences, I’ve learned that you have to fight for what you want, have a plan, set a goal and strive for it. The YMCA teaches you to be a better you. I will attend the University of Evansville in the fall of 2018 on a full tuition scholarship, in part, because of these experiences at the YMCA.

Julia with Bill Demaree, executive at Tom Wood Automotive and Avondale Meadows YMCA board member

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