Things are moving along! We are getting closer one step at a time to the beginning of AYA's summer program.
On Saturday, Sunday, and Tuesday, I helped with the interviews to find a great bunch of youth for the summer. There was a learning curve and we improved along the way. Interviews are always so exciting. I'm irrationally excited about group interviews because it feels great to hold so much power in my hands and to make people do whatever you want. I am really proud of the three interviewers who are current youths in AYA. They are confident, helpful, team players through and through and very thoughtful about what they value. They are fair in their judgments and opinions after every round of interview, and they are delightful to work with.
We basically spent all of Saturday and Sunday doing interviews. The interviewees are very unique and had great things to share. Their personalities are probably somewhat less apparent due to the time constraints and the nerve-wrecking nature of the interviewers, but when they did shine through in the interview and/or in the paper application, they proved to be such thoughtful, confident, and genuine youth. We had a variety of personalities and backgrounds that made interviewers very interesting and unpredictable.
My next favorite part about interviews is the deliberation part after interviews. On Sunday afternoon we sat at the CAAAV office and Jeff helped us stick post-it notes on the wall to ponder all the applicants' fates. We eventually decided to accept a great number of applicants and to waitlist a couple more and to defer another couple more who would be less busy during the school year. We had some trouble articulating our thoughts and opinions for certain parts, but overall I think we did a good job deliberating, and I think we all ended the task feeling pretty good and hopeful about this summer. Afterwards, I drafted emails to send to the applicants to inform them of our decisions. It felt important to me to title the email subject with "Congratulations!" for those who were accepted. The last thing they need is to open the ominous email, nervously skim/read a couple of sentences, only to squeal when their eyes finally catch the words congratulations, you have been accepted!
We received overwhelmingly positive responses from everyone, and that makes me even more excited to work with them this summer. This weekend is the last gathering for the current youth in the school year, and I will be joining them for a fun day at a local park. I think it'll be great to meet the current youth and to celebrate all that they've done this past school year as I look forward to working with a new group. Sunday Funday, here I come!