Jasmine Williams

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    Once in a life time experience, beautiful sights, breathtaking waterfalls, rocky adventures, challenges, hard times, group commitment, and bonding; this is how I would describe my BCM experience.
    BCM is a great program that teaches people how to work together, become mountaineers, and boost our level of confidence. Up there in the mountains I was a girl just doing what I was told to do. However, as our beautiful journey continued, I became a leader, a motivator, and a friend; doing what I knew how to do, not just what I was told to do, I became a Big City Mountaineer.

    When we finally made it, I was really excited to be in Yosemite Valley. I wasn’t just there to accomplish things I thought I couldn’t do, it was more than that, I was there to bond, become sisters with my fellow coworkers, and let go of the fear of not having my sister around next year. I became an independent young lady with plenty of fears demolished. I now have a new level of confidence in myself and I know that I can accomplish anything I put my mind to. Whereas, before BCM I barely believed in myself, I felt like I was always setting myself up to fail. No longer do I feel this way, I am strong and I realize that confidence is the key to developing self esteem.

    Although my confidence post BCM is high, out there it was a little low. I had many worries which were actively discussed before going off into the mountains. My main worry was about using the restroom in the wilderness; I barely liked using school or public restrooms. I will tell you this, when you have to go you have to go, and that was exactly my experience when the need arose. I felt like that after the restroom thing was accomplished my biggest fear and worry were over, but I was wrong; my fears and worries had just begun.

    On the first day we started hiking, I was so scared of the steepness of the mountain, but I remained optimistic. If I hadn’t I would have not been able to enjoy what was in store for us at the top of the mountain, a beautiful waterfall! It misted us because the wind was blowing just right. This was something that lit up my face and gave me a feeling of accomplishment. Going back down from this beautiful sight was hard, but as a team we made it. I could see that we began bonding that day because we all felt the same way, tired, upset, and mad. Those feeling eventually dissolved, and just become something of the past.

    I did say eventually, which meant the second day they became worse. This was the day we put the backpacks on and started the real challenge. My confidence was thrown out the window. The backpack killed my shoulders and made me want to just break down and cry, but I didn’t. I remained optimistic and thought about what lay ahead. I believe that this day was my hardest. I felt weak, sick to my stomach, just horrible. Although I did feel like quitting, I didn’t, I preserved. Part of that was learning how to believe in myself and the other part being encouraged by our leaders and most of all Ms. Regina, our mountain mom, we all made it.

    From that day on, we were strong and confident; wanting and striving to finish what we had started. We went on conquering mountains and becoming mountaineers. We shared secrets and laughter all in one three person tent. Six girls went from friends to family; all wanting to succeed together and accomplish the journey. I loved this feeling, I had only one fear, not finishing. This wasn’t really a fear, but more of a worry, which I knew that I could overcome. I had become a confident young lady, believing and encouraging myself to succeed and to do the best I could.

    Jasmine Williams

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