By Zoe Epps, Blue Future Spring for Progress and Change organizer
I identify as a million things that can make it dangerous to openly be myself sometimes, but I know I have it easy in comparison to most people. I live in a progressive city, go to a private school, and live a very sheltered life. After everything that happened last year with George Floyd and the protests, I felt that it would have been criminal for me to act as if society did not need to change. I figured I should do what I can to share my privilege and to at least attempt to make the world a better place. But frankly, I didn’t know where to start. I knew I could sign petitions and post on social media but I also knew that was not enough. The problem was, I didn’t know what was ‘enough’ or how else I could organize. Then my friend told me about Blue Future.
Throughout the application process, I was more terrified than anything. At first, I was scared of not being good enough to get an interview. Once I got the interview, I was scared I would not be good enough to get a spot in the program. I remember being in the group interview and hearing about everyone else’s experience and feeling totally inferior. I was one of the youngest people in the interview and had the least experience. Overall, I was mostly concerned that my opinions didn’t matter as much because of that.
When I actually started in the program and began to build the YAC with the other members in my group I found myself constantly feeling like my opinion did not matter. I would silence and convince myself that I should let the older kids talk. When I started feeling suffocated I realized that I was doing the exact opposite of what I joined the program to do. I wanted to learn to use my voice, not hinder it. Once I had this epiphany, I really started to make an effort to improve. I set a goal of talking at least three times in each meeting we had and started to step out of my comfort zone. I did my best to make friends and to truly leave my mark on our project.
Personally, my experience with Blue Future is something that I would not trade for anything. I learned so much and am so grateful that I even had the opportunity to join the program. I am most grateful for an opportunity to explore my personal voice and to learn to be comfortable with it. I absolutely cannot wait to continue organizing!
About Zoe: Hello! My name is Zoe Epps and I am currently a sophomore at the Archer School for Girls in Brentwood, California. I am just trying to do my part in making the world a better place!