This interview holds a few special places in my heart. “Why?” you may ask.
Well... I’m glad you asked!
First, I’m a youth enthusiast. Whenever I have the opportunity to do leadership work with our youth, I feel charged up. I am inspired to be more courageous after having spent time with them. I love the raw energy they bring into the room. I respect their desire to become a better version of themselves. I admire their unfiltered belief that they can change the world, one community at a time.
Second, I’ve personally known this young lady for the past 5 years. I’ve had the opportunity to watch her blossom into an amazing individual. I’ve even seen her as a paid sitter to a group of 6 kids! I saw how attentive she was to each child. She took the time to recognize each child's individuality and their unique needs. I remembered how impressed I was with my friend’s daughter even from a few years ago. She didn’t just do the job to get paid, she did it with quality and care, above and beyond what was asked of her.
Outside of being compassionate, generous, and a natural encourager, she’s made a few memorable dents in the world in the 17 years of her life.
She was named Female Athlete of the Year in 2016 by the Times Herald
She was given a scholarship to attend the Solano Rotary's Camp Royal, a youth leadership camp in 2016
She earned the title of Athlete of the Week in January 2017 by the Times Herald
She was recently elected by our City’s officials as Honorary Youth Commissioner for the City of American Canyon
Meet my young friend, Ms. Julia Cummings!! Julia is a senior at American Canyon High School and an accomplished soccer player who has well represented our schools in American Canyon.
How long have you lived in American Canyon?
I have lived here for 10 years.
What is your favorite park or open space in American Canyon? Why?
Definitely Kimberly Park, especially with its new and improved condition. It’s right next to my house!
Can you tell us a story about your favorite park-related memory?
Every day during summer of 2013, I would go to the field and practice soccer. I loved seeing the improvement in my skills, and loved running around with the soccer ball.
If you could visit any National Park, where would you go and why?
Yosemite. During the summer before I became a junior in high school, I went on a 6-day backpacking adventure with 15 strangers in the high ranges of Yosemite. I have been in love with the park ever since.
What is your favorite outdoor activity?
I always enjoy any sports outside with my family. If I’m not playing sports, I’m going on hikes. My favorite hike is the Dipsea Trail in Muir Woods.
If you could play any outdoors sport, what would it be?
I would play any outdoor sports because they are all fun. My favorite is soccer of course. I have played for 10 years, and I want to play in college.
If you could be any piece of outdoor play equipment, what would you be and why?
If I could be any outdoor equipment, I would be a swing set because it makes me feel like I'm flying. I could reach the stars if I really wanted to. I have aspirations that extend further than the sky. A swing set easily represents my attitude toward the future which is, the sky is the limit.
In your experience, what are the benefits you see to being outdoors?
There are endless benefits from keeping me healthy to keeping me sane. Sometimes, school and life in general, will get overwhelming and stressful. Going on a nice long hike or playing soccer distracts my mind from all the worry. It keeps me focused on working my muscles or scoring a goal and just having some fun.
What would you like to tell your peers about the lifestyle of parks and outdoors, and its benefits?
I’d like to tell my peers that being involved with the parks and outdoors is so beneficial to them in various ways, physically and psychologically. There is so much to do and experience. My favorite is being at the parks and playing soccer.
As an honorary Youth Commissioner for our city (SO PROUD OF YOU!), what do you see as your role and responsibility?
As the Honorary Commissioner for American Canyon, I know that my role in the community is to be the liaison between the community and City Council. I voice what the young adults want to see in the community and give ideas on how to get them more involved in community events.
When I asked Julia if we could write a blog about her, she said, “You want to write about me?”
I believe some of the important leadership qualities are: humility, compassion, generosity and being an encourager. In my humble opinion, I believe my young friend, Julia Cummings, possesses all of those qualities.
Wherever you may go, I know you will be a great contributor to those lives you touch, Julia. I can’t wait to see what positive impact you will have in your college years!
In 2017, as part of ACCPF's expanded vision, we want to help develop and support underserved youth through scholarships, parks and programs. We recognize the importance of our youth and the positive influence they would have in their community. ACCPF wants to do our part to support them in ways that we can.
Please stay tuned for updates about ACCPF and how we will be supporting our youth in collaboration with various organizations in American Canyon. A portion of your membership and financial support will directly benefit our youth.
We thank you in advance for your continued support and belief in the work we do!