Inspirational Molly, Self-Advocate, Silences the Room at the Gala.

Our Annual ‘i have a Voice’ Gala always invites a self-advocate to speak, to tell their story and what GiGi’s Playhouse means to them. This year, we were excited to welcome Molly to the podium. Molly did a great job overcoming her nerves to deliver a tear-jerker of a speech. Her reward was hugs from her friends, who were encouraging and motivating her every step of the way. Afterward, they all headed to the dance floor to show us their moves to Taylor Swift – Molly’s favorite artist.

Molly loves Grey’s Anatomy and came dressed up for Halloween last year!

Molly wrote her speech by herself with a little support from her Literacy Tutor, Dani.

Good evening, Ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for being here tonight. My name is Molly Young. I’m proud to be with you all and to have the opportunity to share my feelings about GiGi’s Playhouse Westchester.

The Playhouse means the world to me. It feels like my second home. I’m excited whenever I’m there. If you’re new to GiGi’s and don’t know what the Playhouse is. GiGi’s Playhouse is an achievement center where people with Down syndrome hang out, learn, and grow.

Programs at GiGi’s cater to people of all ages. I’ve participated in many programs. I attended the cooking program and discovered a lot of fun facts – like the number one GiGi’s Kitchen hack is parchment paper! I prepared lots of delicious meals for my family. Carol Altomare is an excellent teacher. She makes cooking very enjoyable for me. I love cooking with her, and I’ve learned a lot. I want to congratulate Carol for all the hard work she does for us.

I attend yoga with Carolyn Frost, and I look forward to it every week because it helps me to de-stress. Carolyn’s enthusiasm makes me want to do yoga, and she’s a sweet and caring person. I’m grateful for the time she gives us.

I love having Dani Alpert as my literacy tutor. we always have a good laugh together. I’ve become a better writer and feel much more confident about writing thanks to her. We even got a story published on GiGi’s website. I’ve known her so long I think of her as a good friend.

GiGi’s Art Explosion program is one of the programs I deeply appreciate. Liza’s demonstrations and directions are interesting and artistic. Several weeks ago, I worked on painting a sunset and a jellyfish. Including every little picture detail is hard, but I still have fun.

I also enjoy Fantastic Friends. It’s a program for adults where we play games and get to know one another in a relaxed and community atmosphere.

GiGi’s is more than just entertainment. it’s about learning and being part of new experiences. If you’re interested, there is both literacy and math tutoring for your child. I love them both very much.

When I went to GiGi’s for the first time, I was so excited to make more friends. I’ve been going to the Playhouse for 13 years, ever since I was 8 years old. GiGi’s has made a tremendous impact on my life. It’s made me the confident, friendly, and funny person I am today. I can’t believe it’s been 13 years already.

I want to give a special thank you to Tracy Smith for organizing the programs and for all the support she provides us throughout the year. And a BIG thank you to the Gala committee and volunteers who put this special evening together for us.

Thank you so much for having me.

Let’s party and celebrate GiGi’s.

Molly speaking at the Gala.

Molly’s experience at GiGi’s Playhouse is outstanding and was made possible due to the terrific dedicated, generous, and enthusiastic volunteers that Molly has encountered throughout her visits to the playhouse. We are 99% volunteer-led and can only do what we do with our fantastic volunteer team. Are you interested in becoming part of the BEST volunteer team in Westchester and impacting the lives of our incredible participants? Check out our Volunteer page and get involved TODAY!

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