My sister texted me on Friday telling me that it’s opening ceremony. Another year again! She started telling me how the event went and how the organizational structure is changed once again. Council has been removed. This thought stuck with me for a long time and put me into deep thinking mode. Even talked to KC on Saturday.
My immediate action was like, wow after the downscaling year after year, the council is finally gone. At the same time, how could that be? Without a youth-led council, even with the involvement of alumni as volunteers, it’s going to become just another youth program participants go to workshops and complete projects. Where is the unique feature? It is not the same anymore. Being proud of it and recognizing its part of my roots, my immediate response was a bit defensive. Taking a step back, is the removal of this structure an evolution of time and development or is it indeed losing its core value?
After more thought over 2 days, I recognized that it is one of the core values and differentiating features of this program. Since I left, there’s been a lot of changes due to sponsorship, personnel, management, etc. However, the program mission, goals, and value has never changed. Core values are what we must preserve, do whatever we can to make it happen. Maybe the magnitude of the program needs to change, the way it’s done needs to change, but core value is core value, that’s what we strive for. You don’t give that up.