[Nfbc-info] 2009 NFB Youth Slam

Darian Smith dsmithnfb at gmail.com
Tue Aug 4 21:07:56 UTC 2009

Hello all,
 Do we know who these youth are, and or where they are.  If they are
in the Bay Area, I would like to know so I might invite them to the
Next San Francisco Chapter meeting. if they arn't  I'll be happy to
take the lead and getting them in contact with the chapter nearest to
them.  If they arn't members of cabs, I would be happy to get them in
contact with someone who is with cabs.
 Congrats to all Participants and mentors. I can speak from my heart
when I say that having a mentor to show them what  we as blind
individuals can do, is a great thing. And we all need that type of
thing to keep ourselves focused on never giving up  on what we're
truly wanting to do.

On 8/4/09, Henry Wedler <hobywedler at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi folks,
> I agree completely with what Serena and Bryan said about the 2009 Youth
> Slam.
> As a mentor, I can honestly say that I witnessed many students grow and
> realize that the idea that blind people can't do math, science, or
> engineering is wrong. I talked to a few individuals who told me that before
> the Youth Slam, they were unsure about majoring in a science in college. At
> the end of the week, they were excited and ready to compete in the college
> setting as science and mathematics majors. To me, this embodies the
> philosophy of the National Federation of the Blind.
> I also witnessed students come into the Youth Slam viewing various
> situations as a burden. These include travel, getting food in the dining
> hall, and solving some engineering problems. After the Youth Slam, the
> majority of these students did not see these tasks as burdens but as
> challenges. This is what makes me confident that the Youth Slam was a
> success.
> Take care and I hope to see you all at convention!
> Best regards,
> Hoby Wedler
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Bryan Bashin" <bashin at calweb.com>
> To: "NFB of California List" <nfbc-info at nfbnet.org>
> Sent: Monday, August 03, 2009 12:48 PM
> Subject: Re: [Nfbc-info] 2009 NFB Youth Slam
>>I enthusiastically second everything Serena has written about the slam.  I
>>found that through hard work and imagination we made it bigger and better
>>than ever.  Kudos to all Californians who volunteered their week to make
>>this happen.  And let's be very sure that the three young California girls
>>who were students get invited personally to their local chapters and to our
>>Newark convention.
>> Best,
>> Bryan
>> At 11:48 AM 8/2/2009, you wrote:
>>>Hello my fellow Californians,
>>>I am a little worse for wear, but my heart is full of pride and my
>>>spirits are high in the wake of this year's NFB Youth Slam at the
>>>University of Maryland.
>>>After two layovers and two separate delays, I returned to Santa
>>>Barbara late last night, five hours late and thoroughly exhausted
>>>after at least eight consecutive days of minimal sleep and all day
>>>activities that kept us constantly on the move.  I rested pretty well
>>>last night and have a little coffee now, so I wanted to share a little
>>>about how it went for those of you that weren't there.
>>>I am happy to report that we had about 8 Californians as mentors and
>>>instructors and three very lovely young ladies from our state, bright,
>>>outgoing, and an asset to our great state and student division!
>>>I was assigned to the Robotics track with two fantastic gals from
>>>Texas and a darling member of the vast Georgia delegation that was
>>>present.  In this track, students learned to program hi-tech Lego
>>>robots with code that would move them in all directions and utilize
>>>their light, sonar, and touch sensors.  Might I add also that of all
>>>five pods on this track, my girls were the sole representatives of the
>>>female of the species.  Not only were they engaged in blind science,
>>>but they are pushing gender stereotypes as well...GO GIRLS!!
>>>In other tracks, students were engaged in Green Living, water
>>>conservation, architecture and design, journalism and media,
>>>self-driving cars, solving crime with forensic science, sports and the
>>>science of body movement and much more!
>>>In the evenings, there was dancing, games, star gazing, yoga, and
>>>more.  One night we all got to try a variety of extreme activities
>>>such as riding a mechanical bull, a bungee trampoline, a tall
>>>waterslide, a velcro sticky wall, a rock climbing wall, and a dunk
>>>tank.  On Wednesday, we spent a day at the National Center for the
>>>Blind in Baltimore, enjoying a press conference regarding litigation
>>>being filed against Baltimore's school districts for failing to
>>>accommodate their blind students, exhibits, workshops, tours of the
>>>Center, trips to the NFB Store, and a showcase of some of our talented
>>>youth.  The week culminated with a gathering at the Lincoln memorial
>>>on Friday to kick off the first-ever Youth March for Independence,
>>>including an address by Ever Lee Harriston, who was in the very same
>>>spot with Dr. Martin Luther King during the Civil Rights Movement.  It
>>>poured down rain for a few minutes and everyone got thoroughly soaked,
>>>but it didn't dampen our spirits or deter us from making history--the
>>>sun began to shine brightly as we began the 2 mile march past the
>>>Washington Monument to the Capitol building for a gathering at the
>>>Capitol Visitors Center.  That evening back at the dorms, the students
>>>got a pizza party and danced their booties off with a DJ.  We were all
>>>exhausted, but riding high on an extremely fun and successful week.
>>>By early Saturday morning, the airport shuttle buses began to fill and
>>>the dorms began to empty, bringing another Youth Slam to a successful
>>>close.  By 6:41 AM, Amy Phelps had cried four times, she told me.  All
>>>of us were looking forward to long periods of rest, but without the
>>>tireless efforts of all the staff and coordinators, the drive and
>>>motivation of mentors, the knowledge of instructors and
>>>participitation of the students, it just wouldn't have been so great.
>>>My heartfelt gratitude goes out to each and every one of us that made
>>>it so special--staff, coordinators, mentors, instructors, and students
>>>Dr. Z would be extremely proud of how we have continued to fulfill her
>>>vision of empowering blind youth and developing the next generation of
>>>leaders for our movement.  I strongly encourage you to visit
>>>www.nfbyouthslam.org or www.blindscience.org to learn more.  The Slam
>>>Media track did a fantastic job of reporting on the events and people
>>>of the Slam and at the websites, you'll find blogs, podcasts, and
>>>more, including interviews with me and Chris Downey, an architect from
>>>the East Bay.
>>>Youth Slam 2011 is undoubtedly already in the planning phase, so
>>>please give consideration to sharing your time and energy as a mentor,
>>>instructor, or volunteer at the next Slam, and by all means, if you or
>>>someone you know will be a high school student in summer of 2011,
>>>please come be a part of history, where when people say blind students
>>>are told they can't be engineers, scientists, and athletes, we say
>>>"SLAM THAT!!"
>>>Serena Olsen, MAIPS
>>>Braille Institute, volunteer
>>>National Federation of the Blind, representative
>>>Find me on Facebook!
>>>Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of
>>>arriving safely in an attractive and well-preserved body, but rather
>>>to skid in sideways, Grigio in one hand, strawberries in the other,
>>>body thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and screaming, "Wah Hoo!
>>>What a ride!"
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>>>Nfbc-info at nfbnet.org
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