Hello Journey Group!
Wow I can’t believe that this 2011 year is almost over! This year has certainly been a life changing one for me! Thanks to Playing for Others I have continued to gain a wonderful new family! I hope to maintain these friends for years after I graduate!
Also, from my experience in Playing for Others this year, I have found myself become more accountable, organized, and confident. It is simply amazing to see what a group of teens can achieve through perseverance, responsibility, and organization. In addition, I certainly believe that I have gained more leadership qualities from Playing for Others this year as well. Maybe it is because I am finally a senior? I feel the need to be a leader even more than I ever have felt in previous years. This is my second year in Playing for Others so I have become more comfortable and confident with everything PFO has to offer. Not only have I become empowered to lead but I have also seen the power of leadership grow in everyone.
Leadership is defined as an act or instance of leading; guidance; direction. Playing for Others has certainly helped to guide my life in a positive direction!
Out of all the teens in Playing for Others I must say that I am most impressed this year with Miss Molly Grubbs. Whenever I see Molly she always has a bright joyful smile on her face that is one quality I love about her! Last year I was in the costume committee and Molly was one of the committee chars who helped to lead the committee throughout the year. That in itself had to be a challenging task. Now this year, I admire Molly for helping stage-manage and direct the recent Senior Show. The show was absolutely amazing and I certainly need to thank Molly for all of her hard work!
I strive to follow the following quote. “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” ~John Quincy Adams
Thanks for reading! I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season!
Hello Journey Group!
I hope you all are having a wonderful holiday season!
Mark Your Calendar! Playing For Other’s annual senior show is coming up! “Commedia Robin Hood” on November 20th, 3:30 to 5:00. The show will be held at the Charlotte Museum of History; 3500 Shamrock Drive Charlotte, NC 28215.
I know all of the teens involved with the show have been working hard for weeks! This is certainly going to be a great family event!
Like many of my fellow PFO teens, I have had a strong passion for performing ever since I was a little kid. Acting runs through my blood. Ever since I could walk and talk, I have loved performing. I love exploring different characters, and I love the adrenaline rush. I can remember the first play I ever performed in, The Wizard of Oz. It was fifth grade, and I myself had the proud duty of being “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”. I can remember my face being covered with rainbow paint, and I remember the heated spotlight that shown down onto my face. I was horrified I would forget my simple lines. But nevertheless, I loved it!
Throughout my life The Arts have certainly made a significant impact. Theatre, paint, music and photography have all allowed me to gain a since of individualism, courage, and creativity. Art has also given me long lasting connections. The friendships that I have formed through school, church, Children’s Theatre Charlotte, and Playing For Others certainly will last me a lifetime! In the future, I hope I will be able to show others just how joyful the arts can be!
As always, Thank You For Reading!
Hello Journey Group!
This past month in Playing For Others has already been an amazing experience!
I hope all of you recently received a wonderful green envelop in the mail! Inside of this fancy green envelope you will find a personal letter, a photograph of me and my buddy, and an invitation! I cordially invite you all to The Playing For Others Open House Oct.15th! This Open House will be a great chance for you all to learn a little more about PFO. There will be many entertaining performances as well as some tasty food! It is sure to be a great experience for the entire family! Let me know if you can come! I will be there and I look forward to seeing you all too!
As I said before, Playing For Others has already been an amazing experience! A few weeks ago I met up with other teens in PFO at Veterans Park including my personal Buddy Partner and friend Candace! It was so great to see everyone together again! When I went and gave Candace a huge hug I knew she was feeling just as excited as I was! The day was finally here! Why all the excitement? Well that Sunday afternoon was our very first Buddy event! Which meant it was the 1st time Candace and I would meet our Buddy, Amelia! I remember looking at the simple gifts me and Candace had gotten Amelia…some kitten stickers, and a microphone…I hoped she would like them.
Well needless to say Amelia loved the gifts! From the moment it was handed to here she wouldn’t let go of the microphone! Like any other 8year old, I soon noticed that Amelia loves to giggle and have fun! Candace, Amelia, and I all had tons of fun playing tag, swinging on the swings, and playing in the water fountain! We all seemed to get soaked from head to toe but Amelia didn’t care for one second! I absolutely love her happy-go-lucky attitude! I can’t wait for the rest of this PFO season!
This year Playing For Others has partnered up with H.O.P.E, Helping Outcomes for Parents of Exceptional children. HOPE is a family oriented organization that promotes healthy relationships for parents that have children with disabilities. In order to make a difference with the organization HOPE, Playing For Others will be working with some of their children and families.
Playing For Others also wishes to raise money for HOPE, a new non-profit, so that HOPE can continue to grow to benefit more families of children with special needs. I personally plan on raising $500 towards the cause. Inside of your green envelope you will see an orange donation card. I Thank You so much if you can or have already made a donation so far! Donations can also be made online. I really appreciate receiving support for my individual fundraising goal!
Again Thank You for taking time out of your day to read my Journey Group Letter! Have a great week!
Hello Again Journey Group!
I hope you all have been enjoying the wonderful springtime weather! I love springtime! But can you guess what else is wonderful!? The upcoming Playing For Others Arts Festival!
The Arts Festival is divided into three Art Experiences; Music, Visual Art and Theatre. Because PFO reaches out to teens who love the arts, The Arts Experiences were created as an opportunity for the artistic teenagers in PFO to showcase their talents. I myself am involved with the Visual Art Experience this year! So far it has been a fantastic and enjoyable experience!
This year, for the children at Metro School, the Visual Art experience is designing and building an interactive sculpture garden! So far we have already designed the layout of the sculptures and now we are beginning to build them. The building process has involved a lot of physical labor but it is totally worth it! I don’t want to give away any surprises, but I do believe the final product is going to be great, colorful, educational, environmental, interactive, and musical! Now I bet you are wondering “How is it possible for a couple of teenagers to build a sculpture garden in just a few weeks?” Teamwork, creativity, organization, and determination…That’s How!
If you would like to see the final product, I invite you to come to the Juried Art Show & Art Experience sculpture reveal at Spirit Square, Friday May 13th at 7:30 pm!
If you are unavailable that night, The Theatre Experience will be presenting the Musical Production of the Pied Piper from Friday April 29th until Sunday May 8th! I helped to design the costumes so I know everyone will look great! And from what I have observed in rehearsal, the show is going to be amazing and entertaining! Bring the entire family!
As Always, Thank You For Reading!
Dear Journey Group,
I hope you all have heard about the upcoming Arts Festival! Please mark your calendars with the event dates. The Theatre show is going to be hilarious, The music experience concert will be fantastic, And the visual art show is going to be simply amazing! This is my first year with Playing for Others, but already I am so excited to be a part of the Art Experience!
As Pablo Picasso put it, “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” Personally for myself art has proven to be a great form of expression, and therapy. As long as I can remember I have always had a camera in one hand and a crayola crayon in the other. Like many children, my artwork began as a bunch of wonderful scribbles on a piece of paper. Then, like Georgia O’Keeffe, “I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way–things I had no words for.” Today I highly enjoy photography. My favorite kind of pictures are the amazing unexpected snapshots. I enjoy taking pictures of people when they least expect it. I believe these surprising photos are the best expression of everyday life: the friend in mid laughter, the swimmer diving into the water, the dog barking at a ladybug. Without these random pictures, I believe life would appear boring. Along with photography, theatre has had a huge influence on my life. When I am on the stage in the spotlight, I feel like a true individual. Then as I look around at the other cast members, I feel like a family. I believe that acting is a great form of expression. It allows a person to physically experience a variety of emotions: anger, sadness, joy, love, excitement, there are too many to count. I love stepping into someone else’s shoes!
Recently, I have become interested in Art Therapy. I am considering this field as a possible career choice for the future. Recent scientific studies show that art is proven to have great emotional, medical, and psychiatric benefits.
I love everything art has to offer! Like Vincent van Gogh, in the future “I want to touch people with my art.”
Thanks For Reading. Now go create your own work of art!
Dear Journey Group,
I have a few questions for you all today. First, what do all these PFO people have in common; Molly Smithson, Jamie Marsicano, Meghan Neal, and Daniel Morrice. Well they (along with many others) are all a part of this great committee in PFO, called the Teen Executive Committee. What do you think makes a good leader? Is it confidence, motivation, tone of voice, or is leadership simply a natural born ability?
I personally believe that anyone can become a motivational leader. Yet I don’t expect everyone to become the next momentous president. I suppose the key to leadership lies within one’s self. In order to lead others you must fist learn how to guide, organize and control yourself. Personally, PFO has helped me a lot in organizing my time, and priorities. This has helped me to become more productive. Next year I aspire to become a part of the Teen Executive Committee, or a Committee Co-Chair. I would love to help the new teens experience PFO!
In order to obtain a leadership position here and in future careers, I believe one must display self-confidence and have the courage speak your mind. Throughout Playing For Others, I believe many teens illustrate these qualities. Currently, I feel extremely conferrable around all the people in PFO. I am not afraid to talk to them about anything. Thanks to the creative leadership this year I have always left every event feeling confident about myself and the world around me. For these reasons I hope to become an leading voice next year.
Dear Journey Group,
The New Year has officially begun! Happy 2011! Now it’s time to start thinking about those new year’s resolutions. As a member of Playing For Others, my resolution is to “make a positive impact on the lives of others around me”. As of right now I believe this resolution can be accomplished this year, as well as in many years to come. Plus as time goes on I hope to get others involved in this resolution as well.
Looking back on last year I can only smile. Playing For Others has been nothing but a positive impact in my life. When I decided to interview for PFO last spring, I thought the organization was solely centered around the Buddy Program, because that was the only aspect of PFO that I was familiar with. I have now come to realize that PFO is much more than that. Over the past few months I have learned both about leadership skills and management skills, as well as a variety of different art forms. Most of all I have gained an incredible new friendship from all of the teens and the buddies.
As this year progresses, I look forward accomplishing on my resolution with the help of PFO. I am so excited for the upcoming Winter Ball and Spring Art Festival! I hope that you all will continue with me on my journey throughout 2011.
Thanks, and have a great new year!
Hello Journey Group!
I hope you all are having a wonderful holiday season! This is a great time to spend with friends and family.
Speaking of which, during this past month my friends at Playing For Others continues to amaze me! Within the past month we have fully developed the first ever A-Cappella Choir! I myself am proud to be a part of this talented group of individuals. And I am eagerly waiting for our first up and coming performance! Also, this past month PFO, was proud to present the show “Brementown Musicians!” This performance was a fantastic success! Many children from all over the Charlotte area enjoyed the show and surrounding activities. What was even more amazing is that this show was entire teen lead and directed. Produced by two seniors; Larkin Dodgen, and Molly Smithson.
All of these productions would not have been possible if it wasn’t for organization and accountability. Accountability is something I have learned a lot about in PFO. It is one of the founding principles of PFO, along with Acceptance, Action, and Attitude.
When looking at the majority of teenagers in today society, accountability can be hard to find. However I’m learning that it is important to stay organized and on top of your work. It makes your life and the lives of others a lot easier and more productive. From personal experience, events and activities are always better off if everyone in the group can remain accountable for their actions, words, and responsibilities.Therefore, I hope I can stay accountable to PFO by sending in this letter before the due date.
I hope everyone has a great holiday season and a happy New Year! Thanks for reading!
Dear Journey Groups,
So far PFO continues to be an amazing experience. From the beginning, I have always felt included and important amongst the teens. PFO is practically my new extended family. I have meet so many new amazing people.
One thing I love is the huge variety of people in PFO. From the theatrical, to the artistic. Everyone is incredibly unique. Because of the variety of people, I am learning to ignore stereotypes. Thus allowing me to get to know people who I wouldn’t normally talk to at school. As a result I have gained 60+ new best friends! I feel like I can completely act myself around all of them. It is simply amazing! I can already tell that many of these friendships will be lifelong!
Speaking of friendships, my buddy partner Josh Hyzy and I have become great pals. This is his second year with PFO and his experience has been very helpful. Josh is also an amazing musician! I myself have very little musical talent, so I hope to learn a few musical notes from him throughout the year. So far, during every buddy event, we have never had any trouble working together. He always has a positive attitude and he is a strong leader. Because of this, I think Josh is a good model of the PFO spirit.
I hope that throughout the year I will to continue to gain new amazing friendships. PFO is definitely changing my life. I hope to use this experience to change others lives too.
Hello Journey Group!
I hope you all are having a great day!
I would just like to take a moment and say that this month with PFO has been simply amazing!
Recently we had the first Buddy Event! I enjoyed meeting my buddy Ken and working with my partner Josh Hyzy. Ken is one of the most creative individuals I have ever meet. He highly enjoys painting and drawing. We even share the same favorite color, blue!
For the first event Josh and I bought Ken some markers and paper. Immediately he got to work drawing a picture of a nearby tree. I was impressed at how focused he was on his artwork. After we finished with some pictures, we spent the rest of the afternoon outside dancing like crazy fools! I had a great time!
Last weekend was the second Buddy Event. Appropriately it was an art event. We had two rooms filled with about 10 different craft stations. Ken, Josh, and myself went to every station at least once. Ken quickly found his favorite station, painting. We painted many pictures. So by the end of the event my fingers were covered in blue paint!
I personally believe art is one of the best forms of expression. Like they say “A picture is worth a thousand words.”
Hello fellow friends, neighbors, and family! Welcome to my Journey Group!
Now I know what you are thinking…What in the world has Lauren signed me up for? That is the exact question I am here to answer!
As of this year, I have joined this new wonderful organization called Playing for Others (AKA-PFO)! PFO is a unique experience in which teens develop leadership skills, establish strong relationships with kids who have special needs, and explore a passion for the arts. So far I have only begun to experience the effect PFO can have on people.
This past month was our first big event: The PFO retreat! This weekend long session was led by experienced PFO teens. I learned many things including Acceptance, Attitude, Accountability, and Action. These are some of the fundamental morals that PFO was built upon.
I learned that many of us are quick to judge one another. Therefore, you don’t truly know a person until you have danced around in their shoes!
I hope you will join me this year as I continue to blog about my wonderful experiences with PFO. Please come be a part of my journey!