Chapter 5: Our FIRST Conference!
Before I begin to go into the conference itself, I want to share my favorite moment, which happened at our "dress-rehearsal" the day before. After hours of running around making sure everything was perfect, Ashley had called all the girls into the auditorium for a final talk. For a moment, we all sat together in silence looking around, realizing how far we had come. It was truly surreal. I had an overwhelming feeling of accomplishment and gratitude for all the people who had helped us reach our goal and I knew we were ready for an unforgettable day, or Women Making Waves' first official conference.
The day started out again with chaos, running, and sweat. But, between getting everything set up and greeting our guests, each member contributed in a different way and fulfilled their job for the day. As the speakers started, fellow members Alexi and Adrianna and I gave each other pep talks to cool our nerves. As I walked into the auditorium, I could not believe my eyes to see 133 people in the audience. After, I was given the opportunity of attending the suicide awareness class with Ashley's cousin, Nicole. This was an amazing talk and I feel as though I truly learned some valuable lessons that I will never forget. I know have the tools I need to see warning signs from someone having suicidal thoughts and resources on what actions I need to take. Also, it was an accomplishing feeling looking around and noticing that everyone else would take something away from a conference that I, a 17-yr old teenager, had helped put together. After lunch, the second class began about grief with the speaker, Martha. This again was a memorable class learning the differences in how each person grieves and tools I can use to help someone needing comfort. After this, we proceeded to the auditorium for a Q&A session with the speakers, which was a great way for the audience to get some personal questions answered while bringing up some important topics that may not have been elaborated on in the classes. Next, after a little shopping, I could breathe and finally take in the amazing day we had had. This conference has made a major impact in my life. I feel as though this conference ran more smoothly than any event I have ever been to with Ashley, and that in itself is enough to consider the day a success. I know that on behalf of everyone who attended, this conference has truly made an impact in each of us, and the community.