Dedication for a Better Day
“Always look on the bright side because brighter is better. If you choose to do so, you can make it in life. I did it and now it is your turn!
I thank you all with love and peace!”
And Ziad spoke the truth. I acted as a volunteer speech coach to Ziad, a Buddy Ambassador from Egypt, and what you see above was his closing to his speech given in front of 1,500 people at this year’s closing ceremony to Conference. This was not only the first time Ziad and I had met, but this more importantly was Ziad’s first Leadership experience. I knew right from the initial hug of introducing myself to him that I was going to make this weekend one he would never forget. And looking back, Ziad was well prepared with his own personal plan for me.
I personally come from an art background. I was first uniquely introduced to Best Buddies through a college project in which my creative team and I aided Indiana in spreading awareness and increasing membership among their chapters. A creative campaign was soon funded and launched statewide, which later spread into other states. And I must add, through this great experience, I myself jumped in and was paired up with a Buddy, Matt Burns. Best Buddies did not just initiate a friendship, they gave me a brother.
Matt and I have been attending Leadership Conference for three years now and have no plans of stopping. The weekend of Leadership is so unbelievably inspiring for the both of us that I feel as though I escape the world I know of for a period of three days and come back into reality fully re-energized. The people you meet, the stories you hear, the smiles you cannot help but notice and the memories Matt and I leave with every year are too great to forget and not recognize.
Embracing my creative background, I choose to film throughout the weekend and release a brief, inspirational video recapping the event every year. My end goal with these videos is to make sure these moments are not forgotten and to trigger the curiosity of others, which may hopefully result in them feeling the need to get involved within the organization.
The power of Best Buddies is so unique and will reward anyone involved… Take it from me and the experience I have been given to date. This global organization has begun an inclusion revolution and I could not be more happy to be a part of it. It is time we look past the disability of others and instead embrace the ability. And with that, I say smile because a better day is upon us with your help.
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