Great reading, great lessons learned, great experience!!! Your investment made Miyah Donnell’s Reflections on her Service Learning and Leadership Camp, shared below, possible. WPF Foundation funded scholarships for 15 girls to participate in this Volunteer Center program in Summer, 2017. Miyah’s reflections demonstrate the powerful impact of WPF Foundation’s grants. Thank you for investing in Miyah and other young women!
Miyah’s Experience Because of You!
“My experience at Lifespan Creative Campus at Guilford was by far one of the best experiences of my life. Going into a camp that you aren’t familiar with, you have second thoughts that will definitely cross your mind. Since I was going to be working with adults that had mental and physical disabilities, I asked myself “What happens if one of the individuals happen to get aggressive with me or try to harm me?” Stereotypes that are made about individuals with these specific challenges were in my head PRIOR to the time I spent at Lifespan.
When I arrived I was nervous, but I quickly realized that everything that I thought it would be like, I was completely wrong about. Being apart of this program taught me a lot, but here are the 3 main things.
- With good communication, effort, and a common goal, a team can go above and beyond what they expected. Coming into the camp, my group and I instantly hit it off. We all had different backgrounds, lifestyles, and we all had different personalities, but we all shared a common goal. We wanted to learn how to be better teachers, listeners, leaders in our communities, and most importantly, great helpers in the camp we were working in order to provide the facility with the resources they needed. Learning about ourselves as individuals helped us to get to know each other better, and collaborate better as well. With our hard work and dedication to the goal, we were able to raise over $500 in cash, and $841 worth of in-kind merchandise and donations that helped us throw a Luau for the individuals at the end of the program.
- The second thing I learned was that in order to be a leader, you must know how to properly prepare for things, be punctual, and speak clearly in order to successfully get your point across. While attending this camp, a part of our assignment was to teach the individuals in their classes for two days. The classes I was assigned to teach were Innovations and the Culinary Class. I had to prepare for the classes by making a lesson plan, make sure I was on time, and accurately deliver the message that I wanted the class to receive. When talking to different organizations and community members, I had to learn how to speak clearly whether I was on the phone, or talking to someone in person. Speaking in front of audiences and talking to strangers has always been a strong point for me, but being at Lifespan strengthened that skill, along with my communication skills.
- Lastly, working at Lifespan helped me see the true meaning behind “Do not judge a book by its cover”. Removing the stereotypes that society tend to make us believe about individuals with disabilities helped me and my fellow SLLC members to see these people for the person that they were. Lifespan is a facility where the individuals are treated like the adults they are, and not looked down upon because of their circumstances. They have dreams and aspirations just like any human. They love to play sports, play games, sing, dance, garden, do art, and much more. John, Cynthia, Michael, and everyone else are far more than their disability. They are beautiful individuals, with unique personalities, and I am truly grateful that I can say that I had the opportunity to be a part of this program. “