Victoria’s story

During my childhood I did not a travel or do any unique activities that I can remember. Most kids my age have camped, visited Ocean City, traveled to Disneyland, had sleepovers or slumber parties, etc. I, on the other hand, never had any of those social events or adventures. I didn’t build up group social skills until I was in the 8th grade, and they weren’t very good. Even though I’ve played basketball since elementary school, I never really even talked to my teammates unless I had to.

When I got into high school, I became very open with people and straightforward in my own statements. I got onto the Varsity Basketball team at my school, but the teammates and team environment were very different from my freshman year team. Some teammates even bothered me, but I was fine as time went by. Then I heard about GEM from one of the program members trying to recruit freshman girls. I had a lot of interest since it would be a program that would help me succeed and have fun. The only problem was I doubted that I could get into the program, because I never believed they would choose me. I was never picked or chosen for any program besides basketball.

Well I got in! I had the motivation to make my GEM experience great. The first GEM retreat I went on my group went camping. I was new to camping. They didn’t have showers there so that wasn’t pleasant. However, I didn’t care because I didn’t stay the whole time. I had to leave for my track meet. Although I regret not getting to go through the whole retreat at Genesee Valley, I still had fun. This is just one memory I have that I will never forget and there are more to come. I can only thank GEM for giving me something I probably wouldn’t have done until I was in my 20’s.