During the summer of 2013, Kenady Beaudoin took part in the Interfaith Youth Leadership Initiative Long Beach program. Since then, she has been actively applying her experience with New Vision Partners. Read below, a short interview we conducted with Ms. Beaudoin.
1. How did the IYLI Summer 2013 program inspire you?
The IYLI Summer 2013 program inspired me to recognize my own judgments and preconceived ideas about people based on their faith. I didn’t even realize that stereotypes were clouding my vision until someone pointed them out. It made me want to share my experience with others.
2. How has the IYLI Summer 2013 program shaped you as a leader?
The IYLI Summer 2013 program shaped me as a leader by teaching me how to encourage interfaith friendships and organize community service. Since the program, I have started Interfaith Youth Leadership Initiative Club on Los Alamitos High School campus. The goals of the club are to create a broad understanding of all faiths and traditions. We hope that this will encourage what we have found to be 2 universal principles: love and service. We have done multiple activities to allow opportunity for club members to develop love for one another and understand their traditions and beliefs. Our first and current service project is a school-wide food drive competition for We Care (a Hunger/Homeless Prevention Center in our own community) stock their shelves before the holiday season. (see our mission statement on our website: iylilosal.simpl.com)
3. Why is interfaith work important to you and in society today?
Interfaith work is important to me because, personally, my family and friends are all of diverse background and belief systems. My entire social network is interfaith. Interfaith work is important in society because of the power of love and service. When the youth of one church does a service project, they make a difference. But if 10 different churches are involved, the difference is infinitely greater. Without the help of people from ALL faiths, there is no way our food drive could have become as big as it has.