Joseph: The rush of being on stage today for our presentation was just so awesome. I messed up a couple of times but I got at the meaning of our topic. If I could pause the world and show people that if you get involved there are a lot of things you could do instead of being out on the street trying to found out what you’re going to do after high school. Here I’m learning new things everyday and I just can’t wait to get home so I can share some of these ideas with others in our community. The next time somebody asked why I got involved I’m going to say there was a fire in my heart and it was reaching a fever point (meaning that I was bit by the Special Olympic bug). And ever since I’ve stayed with Special Olympics I’ve realized that life is so much more than money and stylish cloths. You can do so much in this world, it’s just so big!!!!!!!!!!
Sarah: Wednesday we were at the Hilton Hotel for a breakfast session and we were talking about youth empowerment. One highlight of that session for me was getting to sit beside Eddie Barbanell. I also liked how they didn’t allow for chaperones to come except for those who need translation because I felt it allows for the athletes and partners to be freer in talking about things together. Apollo Uno was also one of the speakers this morning and he had a good message. I really liked how he was talking about when he was competing when he was younger all it was about was going for the gold and through time he realized it wasn’t as important. And as he got involved in Special Olympics he could see that it had nothing really to do with what place you got, it is all about the experience and joy you get from it. The Red Laces Campaign presentation was just fabulous. This was the first time I actually got to hear what it is all about and I absolutely love it! After the presentation on the Red Laces Campaign, Joseph and I were one part of the presentation on Fundraising. I felt really good about our fundraising session because everyone understood it and we got the message out how we want to correctly. The last presenter of the day was Jennifer Corriero. I enjoyed how she talked about different leadership styles and how it relates to changing the world and social media. I can defiantly say I got a lot out of the sessions today!
A’Lisa: We had to make a lot of adjustments for Wednesday’s agenda. Originally we were supposed to head to the Hellenic American University, but with the strike and protests going on we stayed safe and at the Hilton all day. Sarah and Joseph did their part of the fundraising presentation and did a terrific job. They talked about the basic steps to planning and doing a fundraising event and the most important part being to come up with the idea in the first place! They also talked about getting people to help out (committee) and how fundraising events aren’t just about raising funds, but also raising awareness about Special Olympics. They closed with “don’t forget that fundraising starts with FUN”!
Wednesday night was a great time to just socialize, enjoying what every teenager enjoys – music! There was music from every culture, in every language, and dancing of every style. It was terrific to watch the athletes, partners, from all backgrounds take pleasure in the time together. It really was a bonding experience for them all.