2010 Youth in Ethical Societies (YES) Conference2010 YES Conference a Winner!
Trish Cowan, AEU R.E. Curriculum Developer
Above back, left to right, YES Officers 2010: President -- Anya (St. Louis); Vice President -- Michael (Washington D.C.); Secretary -- Kaitlin (St. Louis); Treasurer -- Grace (Washington D.C.). Front left to right, YES Officers 2011: President -- Dan (Long Island); Vice President -- Sammi (St. Louis); Secretary -- Shara (St. Louis); Treasurer -- Annika (Northern Westchester).
YES (Youth of Ethical Societies) teens and Advisors took Chicago by storm November 11-14, as representatives from 7 Societies participated in a weekend of in-depth discussion, bonding and unadulterated, well organized silliness. Forty-two teens traveled to the conference, which focused on the theme of body image. Bergen, Brooklyn, Chicago, Long Island, Northern Westchester, St. Louis and Washington, D.C., all sent representatives for the weekend.
Members of the Ethical Humanist Society of Chicago were fabulous hosts for our pre-conference activities, which included games, a sleep-over, dinner / breakfast, and some Chicago sightseeing. Many thanks to our friends in Chicago who helped us plan our options, shopped for our dinner and breakfast, and arranged for pick-ups of our out-of-town attendees from the airport.
Above: YES Seniors graduate and join Sean and Tara from FES, in the ceremony on Sunday morning. Back, left to right: Michael (Washington D.C.), Tyler (Brooklyn), Sean (Washington D.C.) Mayra (Long Island), Iska (St. Louis), Tara (Long Island), and Becca (Chicago). Front, left to right: Eduardo (Washington D.C.), Kaitlin (St. Louis), Grace (Washington D.C.), Xena (Brooklyn), Julia (Chicago), Maddie (Bergen), and Josnelly (Long Island). Single front: Anya (St. Louis). Photo: Heike Schneider.
During the conference itself, teens worked in student-led groups to run discussions, activities and the election of next year's officers. 2010 Officers: Anya, President (St. Louis); Michael, Vice President (Washington D.C.); Kaitlin, Secretary (St. Louis); and Grace, Treasurer (Washington D.C.) and Society YES representatives worked tirelessly since the summer, and should be proud of themselves for the superb conference they created!
There is no doubt that the 2011 slate of officers: Dan, President (Long Island); Sammi, Vice President (St. Louis); Sharalyn, Secretary (St. Louis); and Annika, Treasurer (Northern Westchester), will shine as they plan next year's YES conference.
We wish a special good-bye and heartfelt thanks to Susan Buzek, the American Ethical Union's YES Advisor for the past 8 years. Susan announced during the weekend that this will be her last year as Youth Director, as she ventures back into the workforce. She has been an asset over the years and the teens respect and admire her. We wish Susan lots of good luck in her new pursuits!
Above, left to right, four of our dedicated YES Advisors: Tara Klein (Long Island), Fiona Boneham (Brooklyn), Heike Schneider (Northern Westchester) and Joanna Ebert (Bergen).
Finally, we want to thank the AEU and the individual Ethical Societies for their continued support of the annual YES conference. Teens who have the opportunity to attend cite the weekend as the most important weekend of the year as they reflect on the chance to come together with other like-minded teens and discover that there is a nationwide network of Societies and Youth Groups. Their relationships are maintained over the year through Facebook, e-mail, phone calls, texts and visits. These teens -- who show their true colors as leaders and teammates -- truly are the future of the Ethical Culture movement, and your faith and investment in them are deeply appreciated!
View more fabulous images of the 2010 YES Conference at: http://tiny.cc/gplz5