Syrian Family BBQ Day – The End to Something New

By Noor Khan

I entered Learn to Lead not knowing I would come out of it having taken something significant and profound. Learn to Lead was more than just a program tapping on the talents of the younger youth. It was a group of people looking out for you and really meaning it. Your strengths become more prominent and embraced through the help of your mentors and mentees and an honest and collaborative effort is made in working on the things you’d like to tackle profusely. There’s active listening involved, sincere advice given, and a feeling of a greater family tree being built in the process. My Learn to Lead team was there through every hurdle and happy moment. They instilled in our work from the beginning that the end results were not a priority, but the planning and patience prior would be both a test and a blessing. Our hope was to bring something to life for a community that was so deserving; but ultimately the time in-between opened my eyes to what hard work and perseverance can do for you and what it looks like. Bringing communities together took both patience and planning; the tests that would make you feel like giving up and the blessings that would never that happen. When the day of the event finally comes around, you stop in your tracks and pause to take a moment to reflect. You look around you, the sun beaming from all sides, the laughter of children filling the surrounding air around you, the chatter of smiling adults.

It’s one thing to work on something you care about and another to see it come to life; that’s when you see the achievement made in the community newly built.

You needn’t speak the same language to know that the people around you like being where they are. To witness the happiness in a people you just met and a community only recently built is one thing I take away from June 4th. I also take away the blessings given in the form of people. The new friends made throughout my time with the program was a milestone in itself and I carry something profound from each person I met. I value the lessons and advice given graciously to me and the time spent with a people who are incredible and hard-working. I hope and pray it only be this way and that Learn to Lead and MAC Youth headquarters continue to be a home for many people.