When I first stumbled into the doors of Across U hub (literally stumbled as I knew nothing about this organization other than the fact that I could possibly get a summer job there), I had no idea that four years later I would call Across my passion, a huge part of my life, and my home.Joining Across for my first summer as an intern was honestly a big blur. Everyone was moving so quickly as summer is our busiest time. Even though the number of staff at Across was only 7 people (including 2 summer interns) at that time, Across always seemed to be filled with different volunteers who would swing by to work on something, to have a meeting, or to simply hang out at what seems like their second home. Needless to say, that summer was one of the busiest summers I had ever experienced but it was also the summer that I’ve met so many of my friends and mentors who still continue to walk with me on my journey now. I began to experience what it was like to have a community working towards a dream of serving youths by using their own talents and passions, but I still couldn’t put my finger on what makes Across so special.
The next summer was a turning point in my commitment towards Across. It was the summer where Nicole had brought a group of us back to Sichuan to experience the effects that the earthquake had on the students of Beichuan high school. I spent my 21st birthday in Sichuan crying my heart out in a graduation ceremony of over 1000 Beichuan high school students, and it was the best birthday I’ve ever had. It opened my eyes to the suffrage that these high school students had, and the intensity of their joy, passion, and hope for the future. The trip has instilled in me a question that I’ve never thought of before: What is something that I am passionate about and what can I do about my passion?Zoom forward to the present now, and I still don’t have a full and complete answer of my question 2 years ago. But I’m proud to say that I’ve been challenged to step outside of my comfort zone, serve the people of my city, befriend and appreciate people from different walks of life. I’ve had the precious opportunity of creating programs that voiced out how youth felt about world issues and seen youths use their talents and skills to make a difference in the world. I don’t know how great of an impact we can make in this world, but I know that our impact was made with great love and passion.
So after four years, this is my conclusion about Across U Hub: it’s crazy, busy, hectic, at times overwhelming. But it’s also a place bursting with love, hope, passion, friendships, mentorships, and new experiences. And I can’t imagine what it would be like to search for my passion without this group of people from Across whom I call my family standing beside every step of the way, whether it be staying late to pack boxes of materials that was needed for camp the next day, or teaching me (a girl who almost caused a fire her first time using an oven) to make fresh pizza for food fest.