WE MADE IT TO PROVIDENCE ! It is hard to believe we began on the adventure 12 days ago in California. Even harder to believe that in a year we have come full circle, as it was at the last OI that the idea for this tour was born.
This tour has been an incredible experience. Not only the 12 days, but also the 12 months it took to see this project through to the finish. We learned so much about project management, communication, logistics, planning, outreach, execution and leading a team. The tour itself was a greater success than any of us imagined. It went flawlessly and although busy and hectic at times we had a lot of fun. The tour team really bonded over the late night drives, early mornings, countless interactions, and sharing our stories with one another. There were so many laughs, ridiculous moments, so much singing, impromptu dancing, and great conversations. I honestly couldn’t have asked for a better tour team and am getting separation anxiety just thinking about leaving them all.
Highlights from the Adventure:
Molly –“ Meeting so many enthused LD people throughout the tour and specifically Roan who drove all the way from Toledo, Ohio to our presentation in Chicago. Roan exemplifies the bright future this movement has and the power and creativity of those with LDs.”
Patrick – “The Children’s Museum in Omaha was the highlight for me because we got to interact with so many children and talk to so many parents. I felt we really got to spread the message of our movement at this location.”
Emma – “The highlight for me was meeting the mothers of LD/ADHD kids and sharing stories with them. They were truly inspiring and their passion for their children and the LD/ADHD cause was incredible motivation along the road.”
Katie- “All of the unexpected people we met like the cashier at the Coffeeshop in Chicago and the woman in the souvenir shop in Omaha. I was surprised by the amount of support and enthusiasm we received from the general public which fueled my energy for our tour even more”
Hallie –“Meeting people in every city and being met with support. I wasn’t expecting so many people to share their LD/ADHD stories. I also like being the only one with ADHD on the tour because I got to be the face of ADHD of the group.”
Rehana –“It was incredible to meet so many people with a shared experience, that was difficult for many of them, and see how as a community everyone has met their obstacles with determination and faith in themselves and each other. I don’t have an LD (only ally on the tour team! Woop!), but I know what it feels like to struggle with education and hear people say that you can’t do something, or you’re not smart enough. LD or not, it was very empowering to hear people say that you know what, yes you can.”
We cannot end our final blog post without thanking a few people who helped us get to the finish line. To the national office, you gave us an incredible gift by saying “yes” the first time we ever submitted a proposal. Beyond that the support we have received during the planning and execution was incredible and you have taught us so much—lessons we will take with us forever. To our hosts, without your kind hospitality our tour could not have happened, thank you so much for opening your homes to us. To the organizers and partners of our Think Different Diplomat talks, without you we would not have reached the broad audiences we were able to reach. You truly helped spread the message of empowerment and hope and helped propel us on our movement. Thank you to our parents, whose unconditional support never waivered in the 12-month process. You were there for us always, as well as opened your homes, and refrigerators for the tour team. You were always there with an encouraging word and helpful advice. We love you very much.
Lastly, thank you to all of you, our supporters and followers. By sharing, liking, and talking about us you are helping us reach an even broader audience than we could have ever reached alone. Thank you for joining our movement and striking out stigma!!
To the movement,
The Tour Team
Today was our last full day of the tour! We woke up at 5:30 and were on the road to Buffalo, NY by 7:00am. We drove through 3 states by 9:00am!! I slept through all of Pennsylvania, but from what I hear from my tour mates, it was wonderful.
When we arrived in Buffalo we went to a cute little coffee shop. Pretty sure the tour team has drank more coffee in these 12 days than we ever have in our lives. After a short bit we headed to The Gow School, an awesome all LD school for 7-12th grade boys. The boarding school is absolutely beautiful and filled with some much energy. Emma and I gave our Think Different Diplomat presentation to campers all who have LDs/ADHD. It was incredibly empowering being with these kids and sharing our experiences with them. The Gow School felt a little bit like the Organizing Institute—full of LD pride and a common understanding. After the presentation we had a wonderful conversation with a faculty member over coffee. One of our favorite things on this tour is having conversations like this and hearing about others experiences.
On our way to Massachusetts (our lodging for the night) we made a quick detour to Niagara Falls. It was INCREDIBLE! Definitely beats the largest wooden nickel from Iowa…We stood in the mist (more like gallons of water pouring down on us) and soaked in the beauty of the falls. Such a beautiful final moment before we reach our final destination tomorrow.
It’s so surreal that the tour is reaching the finish line tomorrow. We are off early in the morning to get to Brown University for the Young Leader’s Organizing Institute. We have loved our time on the road and are excited to share the LD joy over the next week at the conference.
Today was a great day in OHIO!!! After driving through the night we arrived at the Jesuit Volunteer Corps house in Cleveland at 3AM!! We slept in until a lazy 11 o’clock. Our host and proud LD ally Joey Belke made us a big breakfast of pancakes and bacon. Later, after the team went on a lovely jaunt around the neighborhood, we headed out for our Cleveland street team.
Before we could even unload the car at the Art Museum of Cleveland, we were met by a family who had been following our tour from day 1 and came to meet us at our Street Team. They shared how their son was diagnosed with dyslexia just a year and a half ago and how they were now working on setting up an Eye To Eye chapter in their own school district. They were an incredible family who not only had a proud dyslexic son but an incredibly supportive ally in his younger brother. After an incredible street team we headed back to the JVC house.
For dinner, thanks to our benevolent host, we had all the barbecued burgers and dogs we could eat. After dinner we played a highly competitive game of Clue. (Actually it was two games but I, the humble self proclaimed King of Clue, knew that it was Colonel Mustard with the knife in the kitchen on my first guess)
After the second game of Clue we all packed up and got ready for bed. Tomorrow we have one of our longest days on the road (its also our last full day on the tour – can you believe it?) we will drive from Ohio to Massachusetts!! We are looking forward to Katie & Emma’s TDD at The Gow School and interacting and talking with the Buffalo community! Here we come East Coast – looking forward to seeing you!!
To the Movement,
Wish you knew what Boulder looked like?
WELL LUCKY YOU!
Here’s a visual peak at the tour team’s stop in Boulder, Colorado:
To the Movement,
It’s Molly again!!!
I am excited to report that we have made it to the windy city! The famous Chi-town!!! We enjoyed a delicious deep-dish pizza from Giordano’s that left the tour team speechless and satisfied with large tummies. We stayed at the co-op next to Northwestern and enjoyed their company and are grateful for the sleeping accommodations. We were up early on Saturday checking out the wonderful attractions that Chicago has to offer. We took silly pictures at The Bean and watched native’s working-out at Millennium Park.
Then we ventured out to the Chicago library where we did a street team outside. We talked to Chi-towners about striking out stigma and were received with wonderful responses. One man stated, “ With negative experience we grow in positive ways.” This man exemplified our experience perfectly in that we may have struggled through school, stigma from our peers and teachers, yet we are accomplished college graduates and because of these experience we are the people we are today… determined. After our successful street team we enjoyed the city atmosphere and ventured to Magnolia’s Bakery where I tasted the best banana pudding. Hallie, being an art history major, enjoyed immensely her time at Art Institute of Chicago. She stated that every room that she walked into she gasped! She described the experience as, “Heaven for and art history nerd”.
We ate lunch in a cute bakery called Cosi, when ordering the women read my sweatshirt that say’s, “ I Put the sexy in Dyslexia” and asked “Do you have dyslexia?” we each smiled and told her our story and about the road trip and she was ecstatic about our cause and wished us luck. Another example of the immensity of our community.
We headed over to Northwestern where Emma and Katie gave a successful TDD. There we met a passionate mom and son who drove all the way from Ohio to hear our talk. That’s 4 hours!!! This pair gave us new energy and we were inspired by their passion and love for Eye to Eye. Their company blessed us during bowling and we were able to really hear their story. We wish them all the luck in their endeavors for creating a new Eye to Eye chapter!! After Bowling we hit the road and made it in 5ish hours to Cleveland. Pedal to the metal!! We are just eating up miles!!!
To the movement,