Circle of Friends Evening of Recognition
April 22, 2018
Hello, my name is Juliana Koller and I am a senior at Weston High School.
Circle of Friends was a part of my life, long before I became a volunteer. When I was 6 , my 13–year-old sister Katherine began Home with Friends. When Katherine graduated from High School my sister Emily took over. And then, Emily graduated, and I finally got my turn.
I went from hearing about their playdates and helping them plan fun games to play with their friend, to doing it myself! I was 13 at the time I started home with friends, and just one playdate in, I finally understood what my sisters loved about circle of friends. We would have so much fun playing games, doing science experiments, and painting nails. Seeing my friend smile when I brought a new game, or hearing her describe with such enthusiasm her day at school made me want to have the same appreciation for life that she did.
One of my favorite memories during home with friends was going to the memorial day fair, I remember running from ride to ride to make sure we got to as many as possible in the hours we were there. It was such a relaxing happy and funny time, and I will always value these memories with her.
Circle of Friends is a mitzvah, not just for our friends, but also for its volunteers. I am currently the co-president of the Circle of Friends Club at Weston High School, organizing school -wide events to raise our classmates’ awareness about disabilities, building a more inclusive community at school.
We encourage students to make sure everyone has someone to sit with at lunch, and promote kindness all around. We also organize different events for the community classroom at our school. One of my favorites is throwing parties after school, where they can listen to music, dance, do art projects, and just relax and goof around after a long day of learning.
I love working with my school in combination with Circle of Friends, being part of a whole classroom of students filled with joy and love by their teachers, classmates, and Circle of Friends volunteers . Circle of Friends has completely changed my perspective of the world, and I am so fortunate to be a part of such a wonderful community.
I will miss all of the amazing people I have met through Circle of Friends next year at college, but I can’t wait to share the amazing values and lessons I’ve learned with my new friends at Colgate University .
I am so pleased to pass the torch of leadership to next year’s Co-Presidents Rachel Gelfand and Charlotte Glick, and wish for them all of the valuable lessons and experiences Circle of Friends has offered me.