At the Mayor Buddy Dyer Neighborhood & Community Summit this weekend, I attended the Storytelling for Organizations breakout session where the new Orlando Poet Laureate taught everyone best practices on incorporating storytelling into your message.
As part of this, she had us break into groups of two and we had to tell a story about why we were at the Summit. In the third person. And since I just had to say it all, it’s still pretty fresh in my mind to type it up!
Patti was compelled to be involved. In her tiny hometown of one stop light, one caution light, her high school of seventh through twelfth grades only had one thousand students. This may not be true, but she thought that the only way the high school would have any variety in clubs and after-school programs was if everyone was in all of them. Not everyone probably agreed with her, but she did have a lot of her class of sixty students in the same clubs, from Beta, FFLA, Drama, Environment, Rotary, and yearbook. She also volunteered to write the school article in the local paper. And she was President of the Student Council.
Needless to say, she burnt out her senior year and vowed to never be a part of anything again (homecoming was a rough week). But before the little meltdown, she had already applied and was accepted to the Honors College and LEAD Scholars at UCF, so she still had some participation in some things. But because she tried to stay disengaged and study, she didn’t make many friends in college.
After starting her first job, she began to make more connections. Because of one woman, in particular, she was thrust into an industry club where she started to get more involved. She then started to remember how great it was to be a part of things and started saying yes to everything! Board of Directors, committees, task forces. She even started the social committee at her work.
Fast forward ten years and she’s gotten a little more laser-focused on what she participates in. Her primary focus/love/joy is community building and she and her husband are active in the College Park business chamber and neighborhood association. She has also started many a Facebook group to plan meet-ups with friends around dinner.
She’s also toe-dipping into leadership again. She’s now the chairperson for the Organization Committee for the Mainstreet. She’s also trying to help a couple organizations with their branding, vision, and growth, which is why she went to the Mayor’s Summit. She saw that there were sessions on Storytelling for Organizations and Engaging Diversity & Encouraging Inclusivity and thought the skills she learned there would help her with all of the organizations she wants to be a part of.