2014 was redefy’s first full year in existence. Our mission for 2014 was to reduce ignorances and promote education and integration for those with special needs or disabilities.
We began the year partnering with the Teen Advisory Board at the Princeton Public Library to initiate a book campaign of Wonder by RJ Palacio, a moving story about a boy with a facial deformity. As a part of the book campaign, redefy and the library held a movie night and book discussion on April 5th, with a turn out of over 50 people. The purpose of the event was to come together as an accepting community, discuss the book, and enjoy the movie Bend it Like Beckham, which is a film that truly embodies redefy’s mission of defying stereotypes. The book campaign was an effort to get many students to read the book and embrace acceptance. Redefy lead successful workshops discussing the book and the acceptance it promotes at John Witherspoon Middle School and Princeton Academy of the Sacred Heart. The workshops were both very effective, and consisted of redefy leaders sharing personal experiences and advice, small discussion groups with prepared questions, and a game which fostered discussion about acceptance.
In March, redefy raised $940 for POAC (Parent’s of Autistic Children) in preparation for their Walk for Autism in Lakewood, New Jersey on May 3rd, 2014.
On May 4th, redefy visited the New York Metro Abilities Expo in Edison, New Jersey and learned a great deal about the differently abled community.
In May, Ali Stroker, Glee project finalist and Glee star, became our first official spokesperson. Redefy interviewed Ali about her experiences in a wheelchair and being a part of the LGBT community, which now has 1,672 views on YouTube.
Throughout the year, redefy also built a strong relationship with a local organization, the Arc Mercer, and we look forward to having some integration events in 2015.
In November, redefy leaders visited Princeton High School to do an art project with the students of the Princeton Public School system after-school program for autistic students.
Redefy published seven stories to our website and six articles in 2014, while continually posting relevant media and updates to our website and social media. All the posts were published in the hope of educating our community and reducing general ignorance, but in particular, reducing ignorances about those with special needs or disabilities.
In 2014, redefy was also featured in the Times of Trenton, the Princeton Patch, Princeton Community TV, and the Princeton Echo.
Redefy continues to grow as an accepting community, and in 2014 immensely expanded our online presence. As of December 31, 2014, redefy has 597 likes on Facebook, 79 followers on twitter, and 7,866 hits on our website.
Redefy had a great first year in 2014, and we look forward to 2015 and all that the future holds!
Thank you for all the support!
– Written by Ziad Ahmed (Founder)