Meeting A Hero

August 24, 2009

DBeldon_headshotBy Debbi BeldonExperient

Recently I had the pleasure of reading one of my colleagues, Brenda Houlihan’s Blog entry about her experience meeting Walter Cronkite and it inspired me to share my own personal brush with fame.

My story begins in June of 2005 while on-site in one of my favorite cities, Philadelphia, for a large, education association Annual Meeting. Our jobs provide us the opportunity to see many interesting speakers and celebrities, but I have to admit that usually once I get the room loaded, I’m off to the next task and rarely stick around to listen to the presentation. That day in June, I assumed the same thing would happen as I got the room ready and all the attendees in their seats to hear the author of the book The Freedom Writers Diary: How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around Them” – Erin Gruwell. The presentation opened with a video clip from an interview Erin had done, and by the time the clip was finished I was hooked. There was no way I could leave the room.
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What Difference Can I Make?

June 22, 2009

AriosBy Angela Rios – Experient

“My life is the pits!” “No one else knows what I’m going through.”  Take a look around and you can find someone who really does have it worse than you.  When people feel they have less money to spend, the tighter they hold onto to it.  It’s just human nature.  As a result, charities suffer first and are hardest hit as people see these $$ as optional and cut them first from household (or even organizational) budgets.  “Surely someone else is still giving, so who is going to miss my donation?”  But you’re missing an opportunity!  And that opportunity may not cost a dime.

 One thing people do not take into consideration when they cut back on donating is how their emotional bank account is being affected.  Donating is not synonymous with cash or physical items.  It can be you – your time working behind the scenes at a food bank, cleaning a park, or fostering a homeless animal. 

 Donations don’t have to be big bucks either.  Surely you have heard of school children who have collected pennies and turned them in for thousands of dollars or people who have donated money for city pools by using money they got from recycling cans and bottles.  These people are not looking for the spotlight. Their shining moments come from knowing they are helping others and relishing the excitement that will be felt when the end result is achieved.  It takes a lot of crumbs to make a loaf of bread, so if a lot people give a little, isn’t that the same as a few giving a lot?  The difference is – with the first scenario there are a whole lot more of people feeling good. 

 If you haven’t attended a conference where a community service activity was offered, you’ve missed out on a wonderful experience. Read the rest of this entry »

Just text me, Mom!

June 2, 2009

DBeldon_headshotBy Debbi Beldon, CMP – Experient

My son graduated from high school this past weekend and will be heading to college in the fall which got me thinking about the differences between when I went to college a long, long time ago and now.

I left for school without a lap top (didn’t exist yet) or cell phone (nope – not invented yet either). The only way for me to communicate with my parents was the pay phone in the hall or the good old-fashioned snail mail. A stamp cost $.22 back then, by the way.


My son will have plenty of ways to keep in touch from the University of Colorado. He has his cell phone, on which he could call (unlikely) or text (much greater chance of this). He’ll have his laptop – from which he could email us, post on Facebook, or Twitter us. If his father and I could stomach My Space – we could check him out on that too – because he’s on that as well.

Last summer, he worked at an amusement park and met some kids from the Ukraine. He told me that he had been talking to them – I almost passed out at the thought of the phone bill until he explained what Skype is. In case you’re as clueless as I was – Skype is software that enables the world’s conversations. Millions of individuals and businesses use Skype to make free video and voice calls, send instant messages and share files with other Skype users. Everyday, people everywhere also use Skype to make low-cost calls to landlines and mobiles.

It’s his ability to multi-task that really has me befuddled. It’s very common to find him doing homework, listening to his iPod, texting on his phone, and chatting with friends on BOTH Facebook and My Space at the same time! If I am updating my Facebook status, trust me – it is the only thing I can do at that time. Read the rest of this entry »