Like 2020, 2021 had some pretty rough times. Fortunately, it also had plenty of wonderful and happy times, which is why colleagues from the 14th Street Y and I would like to share our most special moments of the year.
Jacob Waltuck: my most special moments of 2021
In 2021, America was taking responsibility for its citizens and their health by carrying out strict mandates and delivering mass vaccinations. Because of that, COVID-19 was becoming more preventable. In addition, the world was opening up. For example, children were able to return to school and adults to go back to their jobs. These included the classrooms and work areas of the 14th Street Y.
2021 showed the world two courageous heroines. One was teen gymnast Suni Lee, who made history as the first Asian American woman to win Olympic gold, and ’90s pop star icon Britney Spears reclaimed her life after being released from her conservatorship and navigating overwhelming family relationships and the media.
Last year was also a great one for diversity in film. One example was the teen musical Best Summer Ever, which I was honored to be a part of. It was the first feature-length film from Zeno Mountain Farm, a camp for people with and without disabilities. Best Summer Ever was also the first film in which 50% of its cast and crew had disabilities. In other words, this groundbreaking flick pushed the boundaries for disability representation in the media.
These amazing events gave me hope that, in the future, I would help people, my stories would become successes, and the world would improve. When it comes to creating moments like this, you have to seize your opportunity instead of waiting for it to pass.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been putting us under a lot of stress and pressure, but 2021 was also a time of hope. In fact, this year has given us hope that one day this pandemic will be over. To me, 2021 has proven to be a giant step forward for America and the whole world. Even in a time brimming with terrible events, there are still plenty of wonderful things to cherish and remember.
In 2021 I had a lot of free time in my schedule because of the pandemic. That gave me the opportunity to relax at home and take naps whenever I felt like it.
I spent a lot of time this year in Richmond, Massachusetts. It was really nice to be around nature and get into the country spirit. I started participating in a really fun organization called Community Access to the Arts. I painted and made ceramics, and most importantly I made a lot of new friends. I enjoyed a lot of personal growth in 2021 and I look forward to the year to come.
I became a mom in 2021! The best experience of my life, yet!
Cory Michael Herman
My favorite memory was traveling to England. I spent the day at Apple’s and Honey at Nightingale, the UK’s first inter-generational nursery to join forces with a residential care home as a social enterprise. Together, the children and residents benefit from a wealth of cultural opportunities including music, drama therapy, and art as well as exercise, cooking, and holiday celebrations! I also visited the Southwark Playhouse and their Elder Company, a resident theater group for adults 60-years and older.
Even though 2021 is a blur, I really enjoyed going to my son’s baseball games as a family. We went to different places in Connecticut, New York and New Jersey. It was great being outside in nature, enjoying baseball, and not worrying about Covid!
Which moments of 2021 did you find the most memorable?