By Grace Luk - TOLA Fall 2016
On my first day of TOLA, I was faced with one of the most nerve-racking tasks: canvassing and approaching strangers. Clipboard in hand, my job was to educate the community about the Oakland Soda Tax and persuade them to sign a visibility card to show their support.
By the end of my first day, I was ready to call it quits. I felt mentally and physically defeated by the shear fear of approaching strangers and being rejected. Knowing that it was my first time canvassing, I turned to my peers for support and guidance. With their help, I learned that the more I forced myself to talk to others, the more my fears subsided.
TOLA taught me that when faced with obstacles, I need to identify the root problem of why I am doing what I am doing and not let fear get in the way of reaching my goal. I know that I’ll never completely get rid of my fears, but I now have the tools to conquer some of them, and display a level of confidence that I never knew I had.