By Tori Oto
Hi, everyone! Tori here again. AHYA has been quite active in the past 3 months, most notably with our March Board meeting in Denver, Colo. on March 15-17. Most of the members arrived in the evening on Thursday and went on a tour of the city on Friday. Our Region 1 Director, Nicole Gibson, sent us her recap of the tour day:
"We all met early Friday morning to embark on our adventure to the popular concert venue, Red Rock Amphitheatre. First we enjoyed the natural beauty of the amphitheater from afar and then we took a trip down to the bottom onto the stage and absorbed the view from down below. We explored a museum explaining both the history of the venue and a listing of all of the musicians who had had a chance to play there over the years. Our next adventure continued the music theme: lunch at the Hard Rock Café. Then we stopped by 90octane, a digital marketing agency, for a presentation on social media. We learned about all of the ways we could use the Internet and social media to elevate the youth activity in our regions. Finally, we made our way to the Colorado State Capitol. While we got a tour of the building, we were also able to watch the legislature in session. Shortly after, we toured the museum and learned a bit about the history of the legislature."
The girls then met up with the rest of the Board to have dinner and take part in a few team-bonding activities at the hotel. We played Birdie on a Perch (Camille, AHYA President, and I are reigning champions), Never Have I Ever, and a strange and slightly dangerous life-size version of Rock, Paper, Scissors (Shawna and Ms. Debbie have videos I'm sure they'll share if you ask them to). At our Board meeting the next day, we talked about a lot of new ideas for 2013, including Youth Nationals. Our theme this year, "Root for the Home Team," encourages everyone to take pride in every aspect of their region, including their sports teams. The Board this year also decided to take on a completely new project; we are going to have a national level fundraiser this year at Youth Nationals. A certain percentage of the proceeds from our Youth Nationals activities are going to be donated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and we hope that we'll make enough money to grant someone their "wish," which is what the Make-A-Wish Foundation is all about. I'm really proud of the board this year for taking on such a large-scale project because it's not just about what AHYA can do for itself and its members, it's also about what we as an Association can do to support charities both in our community and on a more global scale.
Something else new for the board this year is that Camille and I will be attending the American Youth Horse Council Symposium this April in Connecticut. This annual event includes a variety of presentations, discussions, and exhibits for equine Associations like AHA, 4-H, FFA, and more. There we will meet up with these groups to help spread the word about AHYA! Additionally, make sure to check out the AHYA's ad in Blaze magazine as well as the newly revamped Youth Section in Modern Arabian Horse (to come in Issue 3)! The AHYA Board of Directors has a lot in store for the upcoming year, and our March Meeting was the perfect kick off. All the members, along with the support of the new AHA President, Cynthia Richardson; the new AHA Vice President, Nancy Harvey; and the new Youth & Family Programs Director, Shawna Strickland, make a great team to facilitate the advancement of our beloved Association. Talk to you soon! Tori
About the Author
Tori Oto is the 2012-2013 AHYA Vice President and 2012 AHA Youth of the Year. She is also chair of the Youth Activities Committee, in addition to serving on the Membership & Fundraising Promotions and Equitation/Showmanship Committees. She's our blog master for 2013, so if you have any great ideas for content, be sure to let her know!