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Azeem’s BAYM experiance

My name is Azeem Hill and this year is going to be my junior year at West Philadelphia High School.This year I want to do things a little differently from what I’ve been doing. Last year I spent most of my time in workshops obtaining information and participating in discussions within student union. This year I `want to step up and become a leader and help motivate people to become leaders as well. I think that this year’s BAYM (Building A Youth Movement) has a lot to do with my decision.

This BAYM has been very productive. We spent many weeks beforehand preparing and scheduling BAYM’09. We talked about which approach would be the best for a person who has never heard about PSU before in their life. Would they understand the material? Would they be motivated to do some work? What would work best for these students during their summer break?Well we decided to have BAYM from monday through friday, between 10am and 4pm.We even decided to show our members some appreciation by treating them to the movies on Friday.

So far I’ve lead about 2 workshops and it is a lot easier than I thought. Which is a huge relief. I led a discussion about consumerism and our economic crisis with a fellow facilitator. I also spoke to members about the importance of writing and public speaking.

So it’s the end of the week and BAYM turned out to be a great success. These new members were assertive, respectful, and most importantly, critical thinkers. They seemed to have understood the material right off the bat. I was blown away. I think that critical thinking is a very important skill to student union. If students can’t critically think, how do we decide what’s best for us? These students brought that to the table.

All of these things are coming together so well. This upcoming year is going to have a lot of new leaders being developed. This leadership development will play a huge role in the work that is to be done this year . This year will be a lot more organized and thus, there will be NEW and more powerful students in The Philadelphia Student Union.

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