Thank You, UAT

Thank you, UAT.

The end of the year is creeping up on me, on all of us. Our AP tests are stressing us out, our colleges are e-mailing us about orientations and move-in dates, scholarships, financial aid packages, everything. Everything is falling like a pile of bricks.

But then there’s Under a Tree.

The mediator. The calm. The inspiration. The motivation.

In the last 9 months, I’ve felt more emotions than I ever have in my entire life. I’ve been overwhelmed, drowning, stressed, elated, heartbroken, excited, loved. Every single emotion one person can feel, I’ve felt. Also, in the last 9 months, I’ve met the best people I’ve ever known in my entire existence. Throughout every single wave of feeling, I’ve had people like Nick, Veronica, Julian, etc. to lean on — all of these people that I would have never got the chance to experience, if it wasn’t for Under A Tree.

Then there’s the conversations. The conversations surrounding things I’ve never been able to accept or even consider in the slightest bit, the first person perspective regarding issues like racism, mental health, and politics. All of these opportunities to engage and discuss have changed me in more ways than one. They have changed the way I think about not only myself, but the people around me and the world surrounding us.

I know Danny hates it when we thank him, but there’s no other words to describe the way I feel about this organization than expressing how grateful I am for the opportunity I have been given to be a part of something bigger than me, than us. Under a Tree and everyone in it has opened my mind and my heart, has helped me to become vulnerable when I need to, and has educated me on topics I never even knew I cared about. I have grown and I have been molded into being more of who I want to be.

So thank you, Under a Tree, for becoming one of the best things in my life and the one thing that held me together when I didn’t think I could keep pushing.
— Sarena Torres, House of Sagan