Minnesota. Delaware. Colorado. Maryland. And probably a couple of other states. Young people from across the nation came together in New York to continue some interesting conversation. GripTape asked its current board members and past challengers to brainstorm some ideas that GripTape could raise money. But it needed to be a way young people were involved.
Brainstorming took place over several different group sessions with some fun activities to get everyone’s minds going. Throughout this entire process, everyone who went got to strengthen their bonds with those they knew and create new bonds with those they just met. It took little to no time for inside jokes to be created.
Oh, and of course I have to mention that we were also being filmed. Yes, some was via IPhones for snapchat, but there was also a camera crew filming GripTape for an upcoming documentary. GripTape staff, partners, board members, and participants were all asked to share some insights and thoughts on our fresh little nonprofit.
At one point the filmmaker had us all together, staff, challengers, and board members, in one room. And we were all asked something along the lines as what GripTape meant to us or what it was in our eyes. It was astounding to hear all of the different definitions people gave and how comfortingly similar they were at the same time. All of the definitions revolved around young people, progression, education, and passion. As a founding board member, this portion of Design Day let me know that we are truly on track.
At times it didn’t even feel like we were working. Whenever we broke up into our smaller groups with about four or five people in them, it was just ideas being spat out and laughs being shared. Being able to say I enjoyed the work I did, is a blessing. And I’m positive I am not the only individual with that sentiment.
When we weren’t working, we were playing. And eating. This was the prime time for everyone to really sit down and get to know each other. During one lunch a group of board members and challengers had impromptu photoshoots with a professional camera. Some of us were playing football. Some of us were sharing stories. Throughout this downtime nobody was alone. And it was never quiet.
It was just a good time.
A tradition of GripTape’s is to end each Design Day the same. We all stand together in a circle and everyone is quiet. During this time everyone is free to just speak about the experience they just had without being interrupted. Appreciation is expressed, funny stories get shared, and it’s all centered around genuineness. It’s always interesting how the air shifts to a somewhat more serious tone, but still light-hearted.
The goodbyes are always the hardest part, but they were all formalities. We were all texting and snapchatting each other after we departed our separate ways.
GripTape– a nonprofit aiming to put young people in the driver’s seat of learning
Challenger(s)– Young people who are accepted into GripTape’s Learning Challenge
As a sophomore at Delaware State University, I’ve found a way to be on the move at all times while maintaining a full course load. I do my best work in high volumes. Keeping busy keeps me sane … and helps me justify my indulgence in tattoos (eight) and traveling. There’s a lot to me and what I do. In the beginning, being invited to work with GripTape was a daunting request. But I was told it would be solely for youth, by youth. After the first meeting (maybe the second one), I knew that we were on to something and planned to see this initiative through until … well … forever. We created GripTape. I believe in our purpose. That’s what brings me to GripTape.