Dear Journey Group,

We are halfway through the PFO year and I wanted to share about the journey so far, what I’ve learned, and how PFO has impacted me. As a new teen, I was really nervous at the beginning of this year. I knew I would soon be surrounded by people that were filled to the brim with talent, generosity, and kindness. As exciting as that sounded, it was also intimidating. What if I wasn’t talented enough, generous enough, of kind enough to be a PFO teen? I wanted to be those things, but I was still unsure of myself. However, at our annual retreat, all of those doubts faded away. PFO has taught me to love myself for who I am, and that I AM enough. Some of this new found confidence came from the amazing staff members and advisors, but most of it came from other teens. Isn’t that a crazy thought? That a group of teens could empower one another, through acceptance, compassion, and encouragement. It seems surreal in this day and age where teenagers are seen as rude and careless creatures, but PFO has proved that we can make a change in one another and in the world. There really is nothing like it. I have learned so many things from PFO. I’ve learned that in order to love others, you must first love yourself. I’ve learned that you can reject negative thoughts and choose your own outlook on life. Don’t make assumptions, don’t weigh yourself down with negativity, don’t stay stuck in your story. These are only a few of the lessons I’ve learned from Playing For Others. I still can’t believe I get the privilege to spend time with these amazing people. Additionally, I can’t believe I also have the privilege of having you in my life. Thank you for supporting me in my PFO journey thus far, as well as in everything else I do.

In gratitude

Isabelle Bradberry

p.s. Our Founder and Executive Director did a Ted Talk called, “If you’re going to jump, you might as well leap” and I’d love for you to watch it and share on FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn, email etc. We want to spread this message!

Link to Ted Talk TedX Charlotte: If you’re going to jump, you might as well leap

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