I first found PFO during is inaugural year way back in 2006 and was lucky to join the organization as an awkward 8th grader one year later. I didn’t know it at the time, but Playing for Others would turn out to be one of the most influential parts of my life. It’s hard to put into words all of the things I learned from being in PFO for 5 years; beyond Google Docs, accountability, public speaking and interviewing, I learned that I love to sing, and that vulnerability is a true sign of strength, and that my voice is just as important as others, and that I am a leader in all ways. PFO gave me confidence, skill, professionalism, and self-awareness. It gave me a passion for helping others, keeping an open mind, and constantly growing internally. It lead me to declaring my major and minor in college, to joining an a cappella group and Student Government, to being fully involved in Orientation and Leadership Development on campus, and to fostering deep-rooted relationships with other PFO teens (two of which I’ve lived with and will be in their weddings in 2019).
PFO gave me endless opportunities for growth and leadership as a teenager – and I am lucky enough to continue down these paths today as an adult. This year, I was blessed to have been selected as an Alumni Board Member and as a Buddy Program Mentor. I am able to learn more about PFO than I could have as a teen, and more about myself as an adult. I know the massive effect PFO had on me as a teenager can only pale in comparison to the effect it has on me as an adult and I am so excited to see who I will become because of this interaction today.
Meghan Neal, Alumni Board Member, Buddy Program Mentor