Leadership Conference

Last weekend was the weekend I had spent all summer waiting for, it was Leadership Conference weekend.
I think that it is safe to say I had a lot of expectations in a lot of different areas going into Leadership Conference, and I can honestly say that every expectation I had was not only met, but exceeded.

Throughout the summer, the topic of leadership and empowerment has been discussed pretty intensely, but I was actually able to visualize both of these while at Leadership Conference.

A main focus of the conference is on providing individuals with an Intellectual or Developmental Disability (IDD) the skills and experiences to become leaders themselves, and empower them to become active and engaged members of their community. One of the skills in focus is public speaking, and I had the opportunity to work in one of the rooms focused on public speaking. Throughout the workshops, volunteers were only there for guidance when it came to public speaking, individuals with IDD empowered themselves through their own words and developed a “speech” telling their story, which they were to present in front of a crowd. I was just in amazement about the confidence all of these individuals had and how well they were able to move the room, seeing as public speaking is such a terrifying experience for so many. It really put into perspective how transformative Best Buddies can be, it provides an opportunity for individuals with an IDD to empower themselves and also the opportunity to lead in the direction of change.

Finally, I just met some of the most amazing people while at Leadership Conference. The personal and professional stories are truly inspirational and really put into perspective the importance of the nonprofit world and helped to solidify why I have the career goals that I do.

About emilycallahan8

Summer Fellow through the Columbus Foundation Summer Fellowship Program, working with Best Buddies International.
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