Currently I am in Vancouver, Canada. Next week, the World Diabetes Congress will take place here and people from all over the world will come together to talk about diabetes. For the past two times, prior to this congress young people with diabetes have come together for the Young Leaders in Diabetes program. I was there since the beginning as a participant, and have now had the honor to be returning as faculty.
It was amazing to be a young leader, to be part of this group, feel the power we had by coming together and sharing our stories. But I must say that now I am faculty, this feeling has grown exponentially! I don’t feel like I’ve done much besides having a chat with people and help out with the ice breaker sessions but seeing all these happy faces has touched me in ways I cannot explain. Everyone in this room is eager to learn and willing to help to make the diabetes world a better place, each in their own way. In Dubai (where the first YLD training took place) I was one of the fresh new people, in Melbourne I was the one who had gone out into the world, tried to make it a better place, and returned with more experience, more passion and more motivation. Now I see the new people from Melbourne, see how they have grown, and the great things they have achieved. I feel proud knowing I’ll do my best to help this year’s new people to come back in two years, and help them grow. But mostly I really feel they are teaching me. Every individual has their own story, which I was aware of as a Young Leader, but now after completing the training and being faculty I am better equipped to help people out (or give them unsolicited advice). My motivation and dedication to this program has always been high, but being here, seeing all these people has brought this to new heights. I am excited for the next two years and hope to be even prouder when I see this new batch return, knowing I have been part of their growth.