The Importance of Passion in Youth

DanceWhat is your favorite sport? What kind of music do you listen to?  What is your dream job? Where will you be 10 years from now? These are some of the questions often asked during our younger years. I remember being asked these questions years ago.  Now, I am a nineteen-year-old student majoring in Consular and Diplomatic studies, a member of two dance companies and currently an intern at the WYA Asia Pacific office.  I’m fortunate to know what I am passionate about and what I want to accomplish.

Of course as I grow and learn, I sometimes change my goals. Difficult experiences offer me a powerful opportunity to realize what I truly want. With time, my dreams about my career, my community, the circle of people I surround myself with, and the types of experiences I want have changed over the years, but the passion within me remains the same.

Those who are older may be close to the point where they have to fix their plans, but young people still have a lot of time to explore. When I was younger, it was not always easy for me to have a clear vision of my life map. I was still in the stage of having older people guide me, like my parents, teachers, colleagues, and friends.  I discovered my passion for dance in high school where my daily routine focused on training. I enjoyed every single day at that time so much that 4 years of high school felt like one year. In addition, I still allotted some of my time to explore new things, meet new people, and hang out with friends and family.

In college I was able to get a scholarship, which helped my family financially and helped me to be more responsible, disciplined and successful in all I do from academics to my extra-curricular activities. Getting involved in the WYA Asia Pacific Internship Program was a special point. I was able to enter WYA as an intern, which could further my career as a student focusing in diplomacy. I felt welcomed in WYA, not only because of the warmth of our staff members and co-interns, but also because the work which we did focused on promoting human dignity. We promoted this dignity through film nights, talent shows, educational workshops, and cultural events for singing, dancing, and arts for young people. We also worked on political advocacy, and discussed international issues, including WYA’s position on international and local agendas. In addition to the training I  received through this internship, I also used my passion to be an engaged youth.

I view passion as a force that energizes young people: the passion to rebuild the world out of our innovative ideas. Keeping joyful and positive is essential to our work. When we are upset, unsatisfied, or disappointed it is much harder to achieve our goals. I believe that every single person has a talent; each one of us possesses the key to making the change for better, all in good time.

By Jermayne Gregorio, an intern from the WYA Asia Pacific Office