And so the journey begins!

By Nikki Febrer, MD Programs Intern
Photos Courtesy of MD Staff

One week down, four more to go! Time flies when you’re having fun. Last week, Asian American LEAD’S MD Summer Thrive 2016 Program kicked off, and the youth have been busy team-building, team-bonding, and problem-solving!

The journey began on Tuesday, July 5th. This was the day youth were introduced to their team members; high school team leaders brought great energy and enthusiasm toward the middle schoolers as they entered the gym with friendly smiles and lively cheers. Introductions were made, followed by lots of applause, and what better way to “break the ice” than having teams collaborate to create their own personal name, pose, and chant- all to be performed for the other teams of course! #spicesquad

This week’s focus was on local issues, and with the topic of water conservation and sanitation in mind, one of the challenges presented to the youth was… *drumroll* … water pollution. In their teams, youth had to put on their thinking caps to brainstorm, design, and construct a portable water filter using at least four different craft supplies. Their task: to purify the dingy, murky water to the best of their ability.

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I gotta say, I was pretty impressed with their creativity, and their use of pipecleaners, Popsicle sticks, marbles, and whatnot. Not to mention how much clearer the water turned out with their final products.

Our week ended with GO-Adventures, and the youth were no doubt on the go-go-go! Youth broke a sweat, rotating in teams to take part in seemingly easy challenges that turned out a bit harder than they looked. Communication and teamwork were key, no doubt. It was fantastic seeing our youth go a bit out of their comfort zone to take on leadership roles. Everyone was actively involved and took on some sort of responsibility within their groups… even myself and the MD staff!

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With the start of our second week, the journey continues, and I can’t wait for our youth to see what’s in store for them.

Thanks again to GO-Adventures for facilitating last week’s field trip! For more information on their organization and team-building activities, visit their website at

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