The evening of October 20th was a crisp, warm night. The halls of Lewiston-Auburn College were abuzz with young people triumphant from a successful Queer Trans Youth Summit and above in the second floor gathered a dedicated group of similar activists. Just as those below left their event many attendees joined the hoopla above.
For this night wasn’t merely a host to oppressed sexual minorities but to progressive activists as well. In room 280 of the college roughly about two and half dozen people, ranging from young to middle aged, congregated to celebrate as well as brainstorm ideas on how to galvanize Maine’s upcoming generation of young persons.
Started through a grant and only recently grounded as a serious activist group, the Pine Tree Youth Organization (P.T.Y.O) has a serious mission: promote youth activism and garner older activists to become mentors for the younger ones. Some dismiss the idea of organizing young people PTYO doesn’t and indeed sees youth for what they are-the future!
Starting as most such gatherings usually do, after the obligatory round of introductions, was a short discussion on Pine Tree Youth Organization’s goals and structure. Amid the chorus of questions and ideas emerged a distinct order: Leadership, Direct Support, Media and Communications, Finance, and Mentor. Each cluster forming the nucleus of how the group as a whole would operate the buzz around which group to participate in was great indeed.
So thus began the break-out session. With all the participants moving around from group to group adding their thoughts as they hovered each “cluster” was greatly enriched. At the end of the forty minute session when all persons came back together to report on what they discussed the results where rich and evident.
The Leadership group formulated some important thesis on management, the Direct Support imagined some wonderful guidelines for project approval, finance and fundraising gave a detailed report on methods to raise funds and attract donors, and the media and communications group told of advertisement ideas to promote the group on the web and in real-life, all while the mentor network found some volunteers teach and nourish the younger crowd.
After each report-back a healthy conversation broke out in regards to specifics on each group’s efforts. From this further talk a great many points were clarified and made concrete.
Notes were taken, future actions solidified, and, once all the paperwork and oral presentations out of the way, pizza eaten. Dinner gave way to pleasant talk and promises to see one another again very soon. The room was cleaned and everyone went their separate ways dedicated more than ever to the struggle and the glorious future.