This past Monday, May 23rd, was a rather rainy one, but it was the date for a YDO tradition, a potluck for the families of YDO students at Chester’s Hall on Island street. The Youth Development Organization holds a small potluck for its middle school programs at the end of the school year to connect with the parents of kids who belong to programs such as theater, architecture, film, journalism, and oceans. There was plenty of food, and spirits were high as Howard, executive director of the organization addressed the crowd. He then turned the speaking rights over to veteran YDO kids, Nelly Alba of Notre Dame Academy, Manny Castaneda of Central Catholic, and me, Gladys Gitau of Lawrence High. We shared stories of how we got into YDO and all the opportunities it has brought us. Nelly and Manny got to go Peru through YDO and I got to start What’s Good in the Hood. Our own Roberta Delilo was also there taking pictures of the event, an opportunity offered to her by Howard and Trish, the administrative manager for YDO. Xin Wen, a middle schooler from the South Lawrence East even played a little piano for us. The weather was wet outside, but there were nothing but warm feelings (and food) inside.
top: Patrick Wolber (second from left), a Philips Academy senior and head of the YDO Film program next: Howard Sticklor talking to the families bottom: (Left to right) Nelly, me, and Manny
Gladys Gitau. photos by Roberta Delilo