This is the last week for potential YAVs to turn in their applications for the 2013-2014 year, which has made me think about where and who I was four years ago as I prepared to become a YAV. I was just about to graduate college, feeling capable and confident and ready to greet the world head-on. I was sure the YAV program would help me do that, and it did, but not in the ways I imagined. It is almost difficult to remember what I was like before I became a YAV, because so much of my orientation toward the world as well as my future plans and my current life changed dramatically as a result of serving as a YAV. 

I do remember that I felt nervous and excited as I thought about applying for and participating in the YAV program, but I had seen and heard from other YAVs and YAVA who were living lives that looked not perfect, but looked full and engaged. It was the witness and stories of YAVs and YAVA that made me want to apply to the YAV program, and a little nudge from a few of them gave me the confidence to apply and start out on a journey that would change my life. As I think back four years ago about how I was thinking ahead, I could not have imagined how much and the ways that my life would change, but I am glad it did, and I am so grateful to the YAVs and YAVA who encouraged me to apply and supported me along the way. 

Is there someone you know who would be a good YAV? Encourage them to apply today! It can be as simple as an email or facebook message or taking someone to coffee. Spread the love! http://www.pcusa.org/yav