Golden Key’s Regional Summit 2016 for Regions 3 and 7 kicked off in Atlanta, GA. On Friday, February 28, 2016, Golden Key members arrived to the gorgeous Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel with the anticipation of having a fun filled weekend. Everyone knows that Atlanta traffic is quiet interesting so in order to give all the attendees time to arrive the early arrivals took place in a photo scavenger hunt. The “Amazing Race” themed scavenger hunt took places near the beautiful Centennial Olympic Park and surrounding areas.
After the scavenger hunt, everyone met up Friday afternoon for the opening sessions. It was a wonderful evening of seeing the many colleges and universities that were beaming with smart and talented students. During the opening session we were thrilled to hear from Golden Key’s CEO Brad Rainey as well as our regional directors. During the opening session we heard from a wonderful speaker, Yvette Pegues. Mrs. Pegues was the first person of color to win Ms. Wheelchair USA. During the opening ceremonies spoke on being aware of those with disabilities as well as how to take a disability and make a difference. After the opening sessions the attendees were sent out for dinner, and encouraged to make some new friends with those from all over the country.
Saturday morning began bright and early on day two of the regional summit. Luckily for many of the attendees and myself there was a Starbucks conveniently located downstairs from the meeting hall. After we loaded up on caffeine we all were ready to begin our day! To start our Saturday morning we had wonderful motivational speaker named Allegra-Lawrence-Hardy. Mrs. Hardy is a fellow Golden Key member and graduate of Yale law school. Mrs. Hardy gave us a very informative speech on how to be a servant leader. After Mrs. Hardy finished the attendees participated in workshops on different topics. These workshops were opportunities for many of the attendees to learn from professional development, communication, and stress management skills that they could take back to their prospective universities and share with their members.
After the workshops it was time for everyone to have a little fun. Some of the attendees went and view the historic civil rights museum or the 1996 Olympic rings. Other attendees rode the new Atlanta streetcar that toured parts of Atlanta and some students went to the infamous Lenox mall to do a little retail therapy.
After lunch was over, the attendees all came back together to have an officer round table and to discuss how our experience has been while being and officer as well as to give advice to others on how to become an officer. After the officer round table discussion, the attendees all reconvene for a Spark a Change Mind Melt. This was an opportunity to meet others from different universities as well as brainstorm ideas on how to make Spark a Change events possible at our respective universities.
After the Spark A Change event, the attendees all return to their rooms to get ready for our Gala Dinner. This was our last event all together as one big group and many were sad to see the summit end. The weekend had been so extraordinary that having a nice, fancy sit down dinner was the only way to end this wonderful weekend! After dinner many numbers were exchanged and I definitely have enjoyed keeping in contact with my new friends all over the country and the world.
Written by JaBreia James – Kennesaw State University