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HY 2022 Grads, In Their Own Words: Sage Cowan

By March 16, 2022Connections, HY Board
HY Class of 2022 Sage Cowan

What did you learn from your experience on the Highlands Youth (HY) Advisory Board?
I understand more about the procedures that occur throughout planning events for the community. Working with a team of engaged young adults helped me gain communication skills and prepared me for my future jobs. I am constantly reminded of the incredible community we have when hosting events and I recognize the importance of getting everyone outside.

What did you enjoy about your experience on the HY Board?
I really enjoyed getting to meet teens like me, who were ready to be leaders but needed some guidance. Discussions with bright teens not only made my day better but also inspired me to think outside the box to make spectacular events. I really enjoyed the events we hosted because it felt meaningful to provide more for the community.

What surprised you about your experience on the HY board?
When I first joined [the HY Board], I was intimidated by all the older teens. Once I sat down for meetings, I quickly learned every idea is appreciated and every voice gets to be heard. I became close with the other teens on the board and they took what I said seriously. I was also surprised by how much responsibility HY members had in their roles. I was expecting the HY Board to be adults commanding teens but was instead pushed to do my own research and bring my ideas to life.

Knowing what you know now, if you were just joining the HY board, would you do anything differently?
I definitely took a number of opportunities I was given on the Board for granted and I wish I had taken advantage of them. I also wish I had done more projects with my friends on the Board. I think that I was too scared [my plans] might not work, so I didn’t jump straight in. Also, due to COVID, our events had had to be scaled down, but that just makes me excited for how incredible [HY events] will be in the future.

What is your message to the remaining HY Board members?
You are in control of what you put into this Board, so make the most of it. You get to create the limits using the resources this board provides for you. Want to start a club or activity for your community? You are already led by adults with a ton of experience when it comes to planning and achieving fantastic projects. No matter what the result is, you will benefit from the experience. I will miss this Board dearly and cannot wait to help at future events.

What are your hopes for the future of the HY board and its impact on your peers?
I hope the Board continues to be a part of huge events for the whole community as well as smaller events for different age groups. I hope the Board will continue to find other ways to get families out to engage with our projects. Lastly, since I am leaving the board at a time when it is difficult to host big events, I hope the current members of the Board get to see how lucky we are to be able to host big events in the future.

How did your experience on the HY board build your self-confidence?
I already really enjoyed talking with others, but [being on the HY Board] boosted my confidence when I was given the opportunity to present in front of crowds. I learned to communicate with adults, which made me feel like an asset to the community. I felt much more confident in my creativity because the Board encouraged it. I am much more prepared to be a leader because I was given a role in different projects and learned from those experiences.

Did making new friends through HY improve your high school experience?
Yes! I made so many friends through the HY Board and stayed in contact with them throughout high school. Having my HY Board friends at school with me meant I always knew someone had my back. The trust built in my HY Board friendships has made them last.

What new skills did you learn while on the HY board?
I have learned so much about working with a team, organizing events, working with kids, and presenting to crowds. Because of our “Art of Adulting” events, I was also able to learn about the importance of voting, cooking, career planning, safe driving skills, and so much more.

Do you feel you are better prepared for your next life chapter because of your HY board experience?
I feel much more prepared to head to college now that I have been able to get such beneficial experiences through the HY Board. I also understand why it is important to join groups that resonate with you because you can learn from the experience and find people to connect with. I will always be grateful for what this Board has done for me.

Sage Cowan is an Issaquah High School senior and Central Park resident. 

Coming Soon: 2022-2023 HY Board Applications

Starting March 30, the HY Board will start accepting applications for the 2022-2023 school year. Ideal candidates are motivated, outgoing, creative, and dedicated to making our community better. Candidates must live in Issaquah Highlands and enter seventh through 12th grade in Fall 2022. The deadline for application submissions is May 1.

Top applicants will be invited to a personal interview for final consideration. Click here starting March 30 to apply online.

Submit Your Free Graduation Announcement!

Highlands Council seeks graduation announcements for publication in the July 2022 issue of Connections. At this time, we are seeking announcements for graduates from high school, college, and technical/trade schools.

To be featured, graduation announcements must be submitted by May 31, 2022. Be sure to select “Graduation” in the announcement form to provide all the relevant information for your announcement. Click here to submit your free announcement.