This guest post is by Angela Fazio, a senior at St. John’s University and the Light It Up Blue Co-Chair of the Kappa Delta Pi – Kappa Eta Chapter.
Why I Light It Up Blue
My passion for helping the special needs community started long before my journey at St. John's University began. As a middle school student, I had gotten involved with the JCC Beacon Program at Tottenville High School on Staten Island, New York. It was through this program I was able to participate in a “buddy program” where twice a week I would interact and play with teens who had various intellectual and emotional disabilities, including Autism. Also during my time in the program, I was able to volunteer at our local Barnes and Nobles for their Autism Awareness Campaign and participate in service activities such as the Adaptive Winter Games and the Special Olympics.
My life was forever changed at such a young age, and I have taken these experiences with me throughout my educational, and soon to be professional career. When I was a freshman at St. John's University, I expressed my passion and interest for helping those within the special needs community. Through the Kappa Eta Chapter and The School of Education at St. John's University, I was able to make a difference and help spread awareness to our large community.
Why we Light It Up Blue
This past month the St. John's University Community has joined the world in Lighting Our Campus Up Blue! Being a part of such a diverse community, Autism Awareness has been a campaign that is near and dear to our hearts. This year is our 5th Annual Light It Up Blue Campaign on campus, and personally it is my 3rd campaign as the Light It Up Blue Committee Chair.
Lighting It Up Blue at St. John’s is so important for me because we are such a large community that can truly make a difference. We have the ability to make a positive change, and if we all pull our resources together, our voices will be heard!
12 Ways We Went Blue for Autism Awareness Month
Throughout the month of April we have had numerous events to spread awareness, raise money for Autism Speaks, and serve some of the local children in our community. This included…
12. Our “Athletic Fun Run!”
We hosted a unique event where participants of our Athletic Programs organized a run to spread autism awareness. Members of our athletic community ran along a marked path posting Autism Speaks puzzle pieces, which incorporated facts about Autism Spectrum Disorder for other passers-by to read after the event through the month of April.
11. Light it Up Blue Kick-Off Extravaganza
10. A Light It Up Bake Sale
9. Selling custom made Light It Up Blue t-shirts
8. A Faculty Discussion on the science and education of autism
7. LIUB Mass & Prayer Service
The homily of this event was dedicated to spread autism awareness and talking about Light It Up Blue!
6. Having Kerry Magro give a keynote about living with autism and how we can go about Lighting It Up Blue!
On April 9th, we had award winning national speaker and best-selling author Kerry Magro, visit St. John’s University in a forum to speak about his experiences about living on the autism spectrum. It was our privilege to have such a dynamic speaker share such a personal message and aid in our mission to spread awareness about autism.
5. Our HeartShare Service Project
4. Sharing pictures on social media using the LIUB Selfie Sign!
3. Screening of PBS’S Film “Today’s Man”
This documentary stars Nicky Gottlieb, an adult with aspergers who is a former child genius. We also had Lizzie Gottlieb, the director of the film attending the screening to answer questions.
2. Participating in the Queens’ Walk Now for Autism Speaks: 5K
You can learn more on how you can walk for Autism Speaks in your local community here.
1. Our LIUB End Reception
I am fortunate to be the Co-President and Light It Up Blue Co-Chair of the Kappa Delta Pi - Kappa Eta Chapter, which shares my interests and passion in spreading knowledge through such a fantastic organization as Autism Speaks.
Thank you for this opportunity and don’t forget to Light It Up Blue!