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Friendship Circle knows no distance


Covid-19 has changed a lot of things in our lives, but one thing that has certainly changed for the good and grown exponentially is Friendship Circle’s Inclusive Teen Leadership Board.

The Board has grown from 7 to 17!  The FCVA Teen Leadership Board members have been hard at work creating new virtual programs and running their Ambassador Projects.

Every year, (including 2020 during a pandemic!), the FCVA Inclusive Teen Leadership Board completes an Ambassador Project, which is a year-long project that aims to increase their involvement in Friendship Circle mission of ​building an inclusive community one friendship at a time.

In March 2020, the Teen Leadership Board made it increasingly clear that even in the most unusual of circumstances, friendship cannot be stopped by distance.

In 2020-2021, FCVA Teen Board has 3 dedicated Group Ambassador Projects: Media, FC Events, and FC Collaboration.

Media: ​ Promotes and hosts programs and interviews on the Teen Board’s FCVA Instagram account: @projectfriendship_va.  At Thanksgiving time, Social Media officer, Julia Glasser interviewed Dr. Debbie Fromer on Instagram Live about how to be grateful. In December, Macy Cafritz had an Instagram Live discussion with Lisa Falvo, Coordinator, Disability Support Services from the Department of Special Education for Chesterfield County Public Schools.

FC Events​: This project focuses specifically on welcoming new Teen Friends into FCVA. Each month from January to May, the dedicated group will host Teen meetings about Friends@home and other interesting topics to get to know each other better during this pandemic.

FC Collaboration: ​ This area dedicates itself to Trivia Time, a teen- led Friendship Circle weekly trivia game that is open to teens and young adults of all abilities.  The new Trivia Time program is a particularly exciting program created and co-hosted by Caleb Klijnstra, a member of the Teen Board who is on the autism spectrum. Caleb partners with our Teen Leadership Board President, Marissa Marczak, to host the weekly trivia program.

Now, every Sunday at noon, teenagers and young adults of all abilities from Friendship Circles around the nation participate in Trivia Time. Caleb and Marissa work tirelessly to ensure that only the highest quality of content is prepared for contestants.  “Trivia Time is a fun competition where you can play with friends and learn something new and interesting,’’ said Caleb. Weekly themes range from Disney movies, cartoons, Broadway and more.

Trivia Time is an interactive program and as the weeks have passed by, the Trivia Time community has continued to become more close-knit. For many individuals, including Caleb and Marissa, it is the highlight of their week.

To learn more about our Teen Leadership Board please visit www.FriendshipCircleVA.org

Meet Our Inclusive Teen Leadership Board Officers. They are: President: ​Marissa Marczak – Senior at Patrick Henry High School;   Vice President:​ Maia Zasler – Sophomore at Collegiate School;  Secretary: ​Sofia Valle – Senior at Patrick Henry High School; and  Social Media Director: ​Julia Glasser – Junior at The New Community School

The General Board Members are:  Maria Bonwell, Macy Cafritz, Sam Fromer, Mollye Goldberg, Basya Gunzburg, Alex Heyman, Caleb Klinjstra, Renee Maier, Jordan McEvoy, Kelly Patrick, Zoey Van Peppen and Emmi Wells.

For more information on our Teen Leadership Board and Friendship Circle of Virginia, visit www.friendshipcirclev.org or email us at info@friendshipcircleva.org or call 804-740-2000.

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