Sunday, July 11, 2010

You call this a Pizza Party?

Pizza: Pronunciation: \’pet-sə\. Function: noun. A dish made typically of flattened bread dough spread with a savory mixture usually including tomatoes and cheese and often other toppings and baked.

Party: Pronunciation: \’pär-tē\. Function: noun. A social gathering.

AAPD Pizza Party: Pronunciation:\’a-a-p-d pet-sə pär-tē\. Function: noun. A social gathering where dishes made typically of flattened bread dough spread with a savory mixture usually including tomatoes and cheese and often other toppings and baked are served. Guests have the opportunity to meet high ranking officials from the private and public sectors who have an active role in the disability rights movement.

Given the phrase “pizza party”, I would say most Americans would not anticipate the third definition being true; however, when you are an AAPD summer intern this definition does not do the event justice. This week, AAPD held an intern pizza party at the K&L Gates building in Washington, DC. Most of the interns arrived thinking: “free food, relaxing after work, catching up with friends, this is going to be a good activity”. Instead what we found when we arrived were four VIPs, Wade Henderson, Dick Thornburgh, Ralph Boyd, and Jonathon Young. I think most of us changed our mind to thinking “GREAT activity”. Each of these esteemed men took time out of their day to speak with us, a group of 18 young interns with bright hopes. Personally, I was quite honored to have the opportunity to hear them speak. They shared a little bit of their personal and professional backgrounds with us and then opened up the discussion for questions. I would like to say I asked a witty question; however, my mind was still too numb from trying to process the fact that these four cared enough about us and the future of disabilities rights to come to our pizza party!!! This event gave me the chance to learn more about and connect with leaders in the disability community, and I am very grateful for this opportunity. I am still having a hard time accepting that this summer has opened up 101 doors for greater possibilities for me, and I fully appreciate everything AAPD has allowed me to do. I know we still have four more weeks left in the summer, and we have more and bigger events to come. I look forward to these with excitement and anticipation, and I hope to continue learning and growing through this amazing experience. Thanks again AAPD!!

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