Sometimes change comes about and it is unexpected. It is in this change that our greatest opportunities lie. I know that we all are going to miss Secretary Sheldon but with new leadership Florida Youth SHINE is given a chance to form a relationship with Secretary Wilkins, embrace his tenure, and work with him as we did with Secretary Sheldon. Winston Churchill once said, “There is nothing wrong with change if it is in the right direction.” I believe that after our meeting on Friday, January 28 we all feel that we are going to be okay. The meeting was a huge success for us because of how everyone worked together to make it happen.
I would like to thank FCF and Christina for helping put this meeting together. I would also like to thank the adult supporters because without you our youth and young adults wouldn’t have been able to be in Tallahassee on such short notice. I would also like to thank Gia Tutalo-Mote for filming this meeting. We are looking forward to seeing the story on the news and in our emails. Last and the most important thank you must go to each and every young person who was at the table and served as the voice for our whole FYS family. Truly without you there would be no Florida Youth SHINE. Having you at the table to be the first group to meet with Secretary Wilkins was such an honor and privilege and I couldn’t ask for a better team to be a part of.
In the words of Mrs. Wilkins, “The honor was all ours to be able to meet with you.” The meeting was a success and I believe it gave us the opportunity to keep a healthy and growing relationship with DCF. After the meeting Christina had us take our regular pictures, but can you believe we only took two group shots! After we were done Mrs. Wilkins came back into the restaurant to share a heartfelt thank you for what we do. The room was so silent you could hear a pin drop. Her speech was so special and you could tell their time with FYS meant just as much to them as it did to us. Mrs. Wilkins told us she was leaving our meeting inspired.
I can’t say it enough - good job Florida Youth SHINE. We are truly an amazing team.