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The Lasting Impact AHYA Has Had on Me

By Flora ElmColone

November 2017

I joined the AHYA board when I was 13 years old, not yet out of middle school and completely unaware of how much I would grow to love it. Five years later, and I attended my last board meeting a few months ago. I’m now in college, and I still think fondly about my years with AHYA every day. The first month of living in the dorms is a blur of meeting new people, trying to remember names, getting to know the people on your floor, and exchanging social media profiles with countless people. As I searched the Instagram username of an out of state student, I saw that he was followed by someone I knew. “Oh my gosh, do you know ____?” I asked him. “Yeah,” he said, “We went to high school together. How do you know her?” “We served on the AHYA Board together for a couple years,” I answered. He met my response with a look of apprehension. I simplified it for him, telling him we were connected through the “horse world.”

The amount of people here at UC Berkeley that are amazed, confused, and excited by this “horse world” is remarkable. But each day I am reminded that while it is indeed special, it is not so confusing at all. We are a community bound together around a shared passion, and passion is a very common thing. After joining the board of a club here at Cal as an intern, I started getting major déjà vu. Here I am, at the start of another new time in my life, similar to 13-year-old me embarking on a journey with an amazing group of young horse lovers. I feel the same excitement when discussing the importance of global girl’s education with my club here as I did planning Youth Nationals with the AHYA board four years ago. And I think that’s the most important thing. To find a group of people who care about something as fervently as you do, and to get excited. With AHA Convention approaching this month and the Youth of the Year about to be announced, I definitely miss being involved with the youth board. But I know the current Board of Directors is going to take AHYA forward in an amazing direction within the next year, and I can’t wait to see what they accomplish. Good luck with the 2017-2018 show season, and go find your passion people! About the Author Flora ElmColone is the 2017-2018 AHYA Immediate Past President


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