It Begins with you

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Up Front with the Behind the Scenes Group
By Joanne Hash / Sunday, June 18th, 2006 / New York Culture Center

The Behind the Scenes Group (BSG) members are EVERYWHERE!

Although one can easily overlook the presence of these warm and dedicated young men and women when heading to a known destination, they are always nearby and vigilantly awaiting to assist anyone with warm smiles.

The BSG (whose initials coincide with the names of the specific training groups - Byakuren, Soka Group and Gajokai) has as its mission toward the Youth Festival to ensure the safety, happiness, and victory of all those who attended. Many of the BSG members I interviewed also expressed a variety of personal goals.

Kyle Cooper (Gajokai) viewed the Youth Festival and preparations as a faith activity based on studying President Ikeda’s guidance in the World Tribune and other SGI publications. To him, it is a means of strengthening one's faith and finding one's mission.

Byakuren member Tashena Moncion remarked that "unity [among Byakuren] had bloomed toward the July 16th meeting." Melodie Crowell (Byakuren) shared her thoughts on the key to such unity: before shifts, the Byakuren prepare by chanting abundant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and reading President Ikeda’s guidance from the World Tribune.

Many also shared how participating in previous BSG activities had changed their lives. Greeting all with kindness and warmth, Kerry Colon (Soka Group) reflected upon his human revolution of moving from a constant life-condition of anger and arrogance to one of compassion. Likewise, Cheritha Saulsby expressed that the efforts she had made in her Byakuren activities had given much back, as reflected in the wonderful changes in her life.

Raymond Chen expressed deep appreciation that his Soka Group activities had allowed him to see his karmic challenges and thus enable him to change his life. He said that by participating in a larger movement such as this festival, he can change his karma much more quickly. Raymond then aptly quoted from the Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, "A blue fly, if it clings to the tail of a thoroughbred horse, can travel ten thousand miles" (WND, p. 17).

So let us all use this Youth Festival as our own thoroughbred and make great advances in our lives!

Journal 1 (April 23)
Journal 2 (May 14)
Journal 3 (May 21)
Journal 4 (June 11)
Journal 5 (June 18)
Journal 6 (June 25)
Journal 7 (July 1st)
July 8th & 9th
July 15th
July 16th

African Performance
Asian Performance
Brazilian Capoeira
Hip Hop (Dance Battle)
Hip Hop (DJ Battle)
Hip Hop (MC Battle)
Latin Dance
YMD Athletics
Youth Band
Youth Chorus
YWD Dance

Art Committee
Byakuren, Soka, Gajokai
Documentary Committee
Lunch Committee
Promotional Committee

April 23rd
May 14th
May 21st
June 11th
June 18th
June 25th (Teens)
June 25th
July 1st (Teens)
July 8th & 9th
July 15th