A 6th grader put this event here, w all the ppl you see, together. She didn’t just put it together, she led w her own story – one of challenge, strength, courage, selflessness, & determination.
Last night, Darren Rovell, Jim Dowd & I were invited to run the first ever “community-focused” portion of a #SameHere🤙 program at Crystal Plaza in Livingston, NJ.
We have 4 main tracks of programming, #Samehere: Schools (for K-12), Sit-Downs (for Colleges), Sports (for Pro Sports Teams), Safe (for Corporate Offices). The advantage of setting things up in those buckets is that we can cater the programming to each age group/demographic.
Well, Alexa Kipnis wasn’t going to let our traditional programming hold back her vision. As a community project, bc the topic of MH is so important to her, she spearheaded the 1st ever #SameHere🤙 event in the community – bringing together parents & children.
I’m not going to sugar coat it – tailoring programming so that both parents & their 6th grade children follow along & both get something out of it, for 2 hrs, is very difficult.
Once again, enter Alexa. We began the program w our typical video, set to Luke James Shaffer’s We’re All A Little Crazy, showing ppl from all over the world, all diff backgrounds, all diff celebs, all diff students, all making the #SameHere sign. But, Alexa followed that up w a speech of her own, before we dove into the programming for the night.
With the maturity of someone 2x her age, Alexa talked about her own connection to MH challenges, how labels shouldn’t define us, how what she’s faced should be treated no differently by peers than someone who gets medication or treatment for some other “physical” ailment.
She did this bc – she DIDN’T want here friends to feel ALONE. If that’s not one of the most selfless acts, I don’t know what is. You can tell the respect & love her friends have for her, w how they stayed throughout & cheered on her message & efforts, every time she spoke. The impact she made will be felt by her friends for months, & even yrs to come.
More “Lex’s” being leaders is exactly what this world needs