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Spencer Harrison, Afterschool Alliance Youth Ambassador, Washington D.C. Experience

Posted Date: 08/06/2023

Spencer Harrison, Afterschool Alliance Youth Ambassador, Washington D.C. Experience

During his 8th grade year at Pryor Middle School, Spencer Harrison submitted an essay recounting how the Pryor Tiger PRIDE After School program had made a positive impact on his life and specifically, how the after school program helped him discover his love for tennis.  Harrison’s essay secured him a position on the 2023 Youth After School Alliance Ambassador panel.  Harrison is one of only seven students from across the nation selected for the honor. Harrison with other youth ambassadors

This last summer, Harrison traveled to Washington D.C. for a week’s worth of activities as an after school ambassador. “Getting to participate and observe the activities and young leaders has taught me one thing; Everyone has their own way of accomplishing greatness. Everyone had their own views and ways of being a leader, and getting to shift paradigms to see their views from a different angle of perspective was a moving experience. Everyone there was exceptionally kind . . . . Being the youngest there, I was nervous that I would be left out; however, when I arrived a day late due to flight cancellation, the directors and my peers went out of their way to make me feel welcomed, and I felt like I could be myself. 

My favorite part of my time in Washington, D.C. was getting to participate in diverse activities. My favorite activity was where you had to write simple words on a clipboard, but you didn't write them with your dominant hand; you had you write it with your elbow, or use your non-dominant hand. It showcases a simple interpretation that you're not going to do things in the conditions you're used to, you're going to be out of your comfort zone sometimes, and I thought that was a great mind exercise. Another point I took away from it is that trying to write with my elbow is like watching a chicken attempt Shakespeare! 

In Washington, D.C. I had many once-in-a-lifetime opportunities like getting to meet Senator Mullin and Senator Lankford, getting a personal tour of the capitol by Senator Lankford’s staff, and getting to speak at Raise The Bar; Engage Every Student Summit at the US Department of Education. I am very blessed and thankful that I got to experience this first-hand, and I felt like I left an impact of leaving a smile on their faces, being humorous, and establishing myself as a leader, despite my size and age.

I hope I can inspire others and assert that anybody can leave a positive mark, regardless of your circumstances,” said Harrison.