My name is Ahmad Daraldik, and I am a YLT 13 graduate. Youth Leadership Tallahassee to me was a once in a lifetime opportunity, because of its selection process and the experiences I underwent.
I lived in Palestine for about 5 years, and then came back to America in 2014 right before my freshman year in high school. I had a rough transition, and truly was unsure of my capabilities, yet when sophomore year rolled around I heard about YLT. I started to do research, and realized they were looking for potential leaders not necessarily accomplished ones. This reality caused me to apply, get interviewed, and then get accepted!
Junior year I am in YLT surrounded by all these kids who have all done extraordinary things. I remember the July retreat we were heading down to Camp Weed, on the bus I spoke with a guy named Josh Sirdevan, and he started telling me about mission trips he’s been on, and that he was able to gain a humbling perspective. I was looking at him in awe, because I had never really understood the purpose of mission trips until that day. That is what YLT is all about; teaching each other, and learning from each other. I have learned so much from YLT, I made lifelong friends, and I even repelled off a building.
Now, I’ve graduated YLT, and learned there is always a next step. For me, that step was becoming Mrs. Amanda Wiggins’(YLT Coordinator) intern, and joining the Big Bend 2-1-1 Non-Profit Board of Directors. The biggest lesson I learned was that I had been extraordinary all along.