Track The Movement January 2019

Following our leadership event, youth across Ontario return to their schools and communities and seek to find ways to use what they have learned at home. They bring home with them a variety of stories, leadership skills and ideas for creating change. Megan Zelle was one of those students and she was kind enough to share her story with us.

“Having been sponsored to attend the event by Community Living Belleville, I returned home feeling that, ReAction4Inclusion’s Youth Leadership Summit was an extremely important event to show that as a community, and as young people; we need to become more inclusive and change the tone of our community on disabilities.”

Community Living Belleville’s Manager of Child and Family Services, Michelle MacFarlane has full confidence in Megan’s ability to do just that. She said,

“Megan demonstrates exceptional leadership skills and a passion to affect change not only within her student body but also with her community. She is committed to ensuring an inclusive and welcoming community for all of its members. We are so excited to see her turn her ideas into action!”

It didn’t take Megan long to reach out to others in her community and get to work in the town of Belleville after returning home from the leadership summit. She continues,

“Since the summit, I have rallied allies like our city’s councillors, my school principal and some supportive community organizations who are all ready and willing to support me to turn my ideas into action.

After having this experience, I am hopeful that the conversation continues to grow, and spreads all across Belleville. Unless an individual has one, knows someone who has one, or researches it themselves; they won’t know what a disability is, and how to be inclusive. We need to spark a conversation.

With the support of my allies and peers, I am working on planning a leadership day at my school that will help my peers have a greater understanding for the experience of people who have a disability. I hope that this will help my peers get to know one another and build a foundation for greater inclusion.”

Re: Action4Inclusion will be following up with Megan and supporting her, and her team around her ideas for an inclusive leadership day at her school. Way to go Megan!

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