What did you learn from your experience on the Highlands Youth Advisory Board (HY)?
During my time on the HY board, I learned how to lead a group, plan events, manage a large amount of money, work and communicate with many different age groups, help execute large events, and solve problems in real-time.
What did you enjoy about your experience on the HY board?
I really enjoyed getting to work with so many different people and seeing us bring our skills and strengths together to create many successful events. I enjoyed taking on the role of co-president and taking on more responsibilities including helping to make bigger decisions, planning meetings, and interviewing potential new members. I loved getting to see the same kids at our annual events and meeting new kids. My favorite thing to see was the youth in our community out making new friends at our events and away from the electronics.
What surprised you about your experience on the HY board?
Before joining the HY board, I was very nervous about working with seniors in high school since I was only a sixth-grader and the age gap made me a bit skeptical. I was pleasantly surprised by how welcoming everyone was and how nice it was to work with older people from who I could learn things.
Knowing what you know now, if you were just joining the HY board, would you do anything differently?>
I wish I had gotten to connect with the older HY members more upon joining the board. I was shy and I distanced myself from the older members. As time went on, I got to know them better.
What do you think is your legacy contribution to the HY board?
I am honored I got to serve on this board during my time in this community and happy I was able to give back. I hope the younger generations of Issaquah Highlands participate in giving back to the wonderful community we live in. I hope that people strive to meet new people and learn from one another.
What is your message to the remaining HY board members?
A team is better than a single person; when we all work together, we can achieve the greatest of things. Don’t be shy; there’s no bad idea.
What are your hopes for the future of the HY board and its impact on your peers?
I hope splitting up the board [between middle and high school students] opens new avenues for the board and we see more success in specific events, especially with high schoolers. I hope there are more community project-based ideas like the Free Little Libraries that the HY can bring to the Highlands.
How did your experience on the HY board build your self-confidence?
I was able to strengthen my communication skills. Working in an important community role as a middle and high schooler made me much more mature and responsible.
Did making new friends through the HY improve your high school experience?
Yes, it was nice to see familiar faces in the hallways and some HY members are now my closest friends.
What new skills did you learn while on the HY board?
I learned many new skills, but the biggest ones involved event planning, working as a large group, leadership, communication, and networking.
Do you feel you are better prepared for your next life chapter because of your HY board experience?
One hundred percent, being on the HY board has helped prepare me for college, and I am very excited to take my new skills into my next chapter of life.
Sid Thiagarajan is a HY co-president, Issaquah High School senior, and Park Drive resident.
Submit Your Free Graduation Announcement!
Highlands Council seeks graduation announcements for publication in the July 2021 issue of Connections. At this time, we are seeking announcements for graduates from high school, college, and technical/trade schools.
To be featured, graduation announcements must be submitted by May 31, 2021. Be sure to select “Graduation” in the announcement form to provide all the relevant information for your announcement. Click here to submit your free announcement >>