Sharla Jones’ proposal was awarded $500 towards the LIFE: Middle School Leadership Conference, which involves students from all over the state. This was the 5th year for this 4-day conference which includes deaf and hearing impaired students from all over the state of Oregon.
More than half of the participants were from regular public schools and rarely get the opportunity to socialize with other deaf students their own age. The number of participants varies from year-to-year, depending on the middle school population. The 2011 Conference hosted 72 students. The 2012 Conference hosted 45.
Funds were used for gas cards for the presenters, food, office supplies and workshop materials. No stipends or gratuities were given, and 20 volunteers were involved in the Conference. Other fundraising activities (T-shirt sales, the Haunted House, etc.) supplemented the Weston Foundation contribution.
Presenters at the workshops included deaf adults from a variety of professions to inspire and instruct the students. The Conference Coordinator reported that this activity was a huge success and generated many positive comments by students and presenters alike.