Team TLLM had an incredible time at this year's SADD National Conference!
In July, Team TLLM traveled to Orlando, Florida to take part in the SADD National Conference at Disney World. It was the first SADD Conference since 2019, so everyone was definitely excited to be back together! Over 400 students, advisors, and staff gathered to discuss and learn about a myriad of topics. There were incredible speakers and panelists, exciting competitions, and lots of fun.
One of the best parts about our time in Florida was being able to meet some of our TLLM Engagement Board students in person. We asked them to share their thoughts:
"The SADD Conference felt almost like Thanksgiving. The gathering of many people that want to create change, it felt like family. The people at conference inspired me and make me excited for SADD and TLLM's future."
Sam had the honor of introducing Rich and Anna Levitan during the conference Awards Ceremony, where they were presenting the new Merritt Levitan Award. This award was previously known as the Student of the Year Award.
"I learned so much about topics I was sure I knew so deeply at Conference. The people I met and the speakers I engaged with gave me different perspectives on life, and I walked out gaining insight into being an active advocate for SADD, TLLM, and other areas I’m passionate about."
Gwen acted as one of the speakers and panelists for a discussion on mental health. She was able to talk about TLLM's focus on digital wellness, and how a healthy relationship with technology can be incredibly beneficial to a person.
"Being at the SADD conference allowed me to really express who I was and to never be ashamed of who I am."
Aarav spoke during the TextLess Live More breakfast we hosted for advisors. He shared what being part of TLLM has meant for him as an individual and how it has benefitted his own life as a teenager.
"Conference felt life changing, I have never been in a room with over 100 kids that are all desperate to get the same message out to the world. It gave me a warm feeling in my heart, knowing that walking away from the conference opened doors to new beginnings and new changes in all of our communities!"
Daphne was a speaker and panelist for a discussion on safe driving. This topic is central to TLLM's mission, and a great opportunity for Daphne to share facts about distracted driving. She was also able to discuss her own thoughts and feelings as a teenage driver.
"The conference was nothing short of an amazing experience I’ll never forget. Each speaker presented their topic in such an interesting and engaging way that even the information I already knew felt as if I was learning about it for the first time. The people I’ve met there were nothing short of amazing, be it the SADD National Staff or other kids from around the country. I’ve never engaged with a crowd that large that shared the same interest in creating a safer country and it truly makes me believe that in the future there will be a better, safer world. I’ve left conference barely being able to wait for the next one."
Connor also spoke at the TextLess Live More breakfast, sharing how he engages with the TLLM mission at his school. He, and our other EB students, have spent the school year planning and executing TLLM events to share our message with their peers.
All of our students did such an incredible job with their various responsibilities, and they represented TextLess Live More in a great way.
Many of the students at the SADD conference have not traveled or been in large groups since the pandemic started. We're so proud of our Engagement Board, and all the students in attendance, for how they conducted themselves and interacted with the conference materials. We were able to get a lot of great work done, brainstorm for the future, and enjoy the in-person time together. The conference was a safe, welcoming place for everyone involved – it was awesome to see people from different environments and identities come together with a common goal: making our youth safer, healthier, and happier. That's what TextLess Live More is all about.
Team TLLM values our partnership with SADD and is looking forward to accomplishing a lot more with them in the future. The SADD community is a great one to be a part of, and we love being able to reach such a large number of students across the country. Can't wait for next year!