Every year at our Gala we choose an amazing self-advocate to speak and spread words of inspiration to our community.
Our 2020- 2021 Self Advocate is Samantha, she began attending GiGi’s Playhouse when she was 13 and soon became a consistent member of our programs, specifically Teen Tastic. Samantha soon increased the number of programs she attended to include Art Explosion, GiGiFIT, Math Tutoring, Book Club, Movie Nights, Holiday Events, Fantastic Friends, EPIC, and GiGi’s Kitchen.
We introduced GiGiFIT in 2019, the goal of the program is to increase the participant’s strength, fitness and to encourage them to make healthy choices. Immediately, all the participants liked to challenge themselves weekly and they began to have competitions about who could hold the longest plank. Each week, Samantha smashed her record, eventually managing to hold a plank for an astonishing 2 minutes, which was an outstanding achievement.
Samantha also joined our Cheer Gems when we partnered with a local school and fondly remembers performing a cheer routine during halftime at a Saturday football match on the school field. The cheer gems rocked the routine!
Samantha was chosen to be our 2020- 2021 self-advocate because she is kind, accepting, and generous #generationg. In addition to this, she is inspirational to others. She always cheers others on and helps them to succeed in our programming.
Before the Pandemic, Samantha began her journey as a volunteer with us. She is now an amazing member of our Gratitude Committee, which meets monthly to produce cards, posters, placemats, and gifts for people in our community.
“At GiGi’s Playhouse, I have made many friends and have graduated High School. I passed all 5 of my New York State Regents Exams and have been accepted into Westchester Community College” Samantha proudly told us at the Gala. This is tremendous news Samantha, congratulations!
“When I was growing up, my parents always told me that HARD WORK pays off, and that is a motto that I want to live my life by.”
Samantha closed out her speech by saying “I’m truly thankful; for all that GiGi’s Playhouse has given to me and I especially wish to thank the generous sponsors of our program and the volunteers for their dedication.” Samantha we cannot wait to see what greatness is in store for your future. Thank you for being #generationG and always giving your #bestofall