Jenna had her first speaking engagement of 2017 on February 4th when she accompanied Margo Singer, Training and Program Services Coordinator for the Brain Injury Association of New York, for a training session in Astoria, Queens at P.S 70 Q. They had the opportunity to speak to coaches and program coordinators from the Sports and Arts in Schools Foundation. There were about 35 young men between the ages of 21 and 27 whom volunteer their time. Jenna led off by telling her story and how her concussions changed her life. She gave insight into how they should handle a possible concussed athlete. Everyone in the room was moved by her story.
Margo followed Jenna with about an hour presentation. It was very informative and included how to recognize the signs and symptoms of concussions, the treatment for the concussed, and the return to play protocol.
The presentation was followed by a luncheon where everyone got to mingle. Many of the volunteers came up and thanked Jenna for sharing her story and she answered all types of questions. However, one of the volunteer coaches was particularly moved by Jenna’s story because he was in the same boat. He had been a star athlete and had incurred several sports related concussions. He could never play contact sports again and he was still suffering some of the long – term effects of post concussion syndrome. He felt that by volunteering at SASF it was his way of taking his terrible situation and making the most out of it. He said to Jenna that ”Even though I can’t be that star athlete ever again, maybe I can help one of the youth I work with live the dream that I can only think about.” And with that, the volunteers were off to their next training meeting to learn how to be volleyball coaches.
SASF’s mission is to enrich the lives of students with wholesome, skill – building activities that improve academic performance, health and wellness, attitude towards school, self -confidence, character and values, and opportunity for lifelong employment.
Jenna’s next speaking engagement is March 24th at the Freeport School District Administration Building where she will again be teaming up with Margo. They will be presenting to guidance counselors, speech therapists and social workers.