The other day I attended the Boys and Men of Color summit and I must say from the bus ride there to the ride back home I was heavenly entertained and engaged. The skill building didn’t start when we got to UC Davis; it started on the buses as soon as we boarded our advisor immediately told use to sit next to someone we didn’t know and get to know them and in order to get off the bus we had to tell him their name, age, school, hobbies and goals.

When we finally arrived to UCD, I was a tad bit nervous and eager. Next, I was kindly greeted and directed where to go. Walking into the Freeborn Theater at UCD I signed in, grabbed my nametag, Boys and Men of Color shirt and a bag. The aura in the theater was so supportive and encouraging, I felt like I was at home and I was surrounded by people who were just like me. I socialized with a few other youth over refreshments during intermission.

The summit soon began with a few inspirational speeches and recognitions. Our Master of Ceremonies was full of energy, inspiration and laughter. The stories shared in the speeches weren’t just powerful, they were also relatable. I actually could feel and relate to their struggles.After that we headed off to an Energizer/ Icebreaker outside on the grass. The Energizer was called “Stepping-Stones”, and the object of the game was to get your whole team across the finish line using 7 stones. This activity really required good communication and strategizing skills. Aside from the frustrations and heat I believe the activity was highly productive. Followed by the activity was many spoken word performances. I connected with their words and their stories on many levels. A story that really spoke to me was about a boy who grew up fatherless and tried to fill that hole in his heart with drugs and gang banging but eventually grew out of it got his life together and started empowering troubled youth to get their lives together. Lunchtime was very interesting, we actually got to experience college life by eating lunch in the cafeteria and standing in the food line.During lunch we were allowed to check out the campus and get a feel for it. After lunch we broke out into our workshops. The topics of workshops consisted Health, Violence, Media and Education. I attended all of them just to see what there about, but my favorite was Education solely because my education is the #1 priority in my life at the moment. In that workshop I learned about how to take advantage of study time and your teachers office hours. After that was dinner and more spoken word performances and a talent show followed by a scavenger hunt.

As the event started to wrap up more positive speeches were given and recognitions then the awards ceremonies and finally everyone loaded up on the busses head back to Sacramento. All and all the event was a success and I am thankful to be a part of it. For those who couldn’t make it, you really missed out.