“The Y helped me to recognize that what I have to say is important and deserves to be heard.”
Nicole Kennedy describes herself as being a painfully shy young kid when she was growing up.
“I was the hide behind your mom and dad type of kid. I had anxiety in social situations, and it stopped me from doing a lot of the things that I wanted to do, like attending after-school clubs or even going to sleepovers with my friends.”
Social Anxiety created problems for Nicole as she moved throughout school and it became more and more difficult for her to express herself and find her voice.
In the sixth grade, Nicole joined the Youth In Government program at the YMCA of Delaware. Today, she acknowledges that her involvement in Youth In Government was one of the best decisions she made in life.
“Youth In Government taught me that I had a voice and my voice really does have the power to enact change.”
Nicole gained confidence, and the Y helped her develop passion for debate and politics. Among many things, she had the opportunity to speak in the House Caucus Room at Legislative Hall in Dover, DE, meet with legislatures on the Hill in Washington, D.C., and travel to different areas of the country to learn, connect with peers and represent the Y.
Nicole is now a freshman at the University of Delaware majoring in Public Policy.