Saturday, April 20, 2013 at 3:03PM
Earlier this week, I headed to Atlanta for the first time in my life. The reason? I was asked to be the keynote speaker at an event at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School. Specifically, I would be speaking at the School’s Program for Global Citizenship’s Annual Lecture. My buddy from Duke, Quinton, is the Director of the Program and thought it’d be good to have me talk to the kids and share my story and the mission of The Wunder Project. Pretty awesome, right? First, a little about the Program for Global Citizenship. The Program provides an incredible opportunity for high schoolers at Holy Innocents’ to travel within the U.S. and abroad and think of ways that they can make a leadership impact on the communities they encountered. Once they come up with their start-up or non-profit plan, the school gives them small grants to help make their dreams a reality. It was incredible for me to chat with the students (I did that during their lunch, before my talk) and see how creative, driven, and community-oriented they were. Kids these days. They totally blew me away, and they had the most insightful questions about The Wunder Project, my adventure with cancer, and colon cancer in general. Big shout out to Holy Innocents’ for being an awesome school with phenomenal students. It was 7pm almost before I knew it, and time for me to address the crowd, which consisted of students in the program, their parents, some of my fellow Blue Devils in the area who came out to support me (shout out to Adj and Sara and Andy!), and other folks associated with Holy Innocents’. I spoke about my path to leadership, my fist-fight with cancer, and The Wunder Project. We showed The Wunder Project film and, during Q&A, even showed our Harlem Shake video. I had a great time addressing the crowd and an even better time answering everyone’s questions afterwards. A huge thanks to Quinton and Holy Innocents’ for having me. After the talk, I spoke with parents and students and was so honored by their kind words and support. The entire experience brought home the fact that I really do need to get in front of people and discuss The Wunder Project to truly make the impact I’d like to make. So, in the next couple of months, we’ll be hitting the road and meeting with major corporations to talk about partnerships. I know that we can get the major, big-money support we need to continue to infuse our movement with new energy and new dollars. There is no quit in me until we reach our goal, and it’s exciting to see things coming together so well. So I flew back from Atlanta early on Thursday morning and by Thursday night, I was off to Palm Springs for the Coachella Music Festival (where I am today). Expect an update soon because this experience is, as it was last year, truly special. My life is so busy, but I am loving it...and living it with all of my heart.