If You Stutter…You have FRIENDS!

FRIENDS is the only national organization dedicated solely to empowering young people who stutter and their families

Announcement

FRIENDS is excited to announce the kickoff of the Junior Leadership Board. This new initiative is sparked by the young adults within FRIENDS who share a passion for helping and stepping up to make FRIENDS serve the stuttering community even better.

Mission Statement: The Junior Executive Board (JEB) is dedicated to inspiring young adults who have grown with FRIENDS to become leaders within the organization, the stuttering community and their own communities.

Purpose: JEB teaches young adults the skills they need to become successful leaders and facilitates opportunities for them to apply those skills. The JEB empowers this next generation of leaders to help FRIENDS grow locally and to make a difference in the stuttering community and their own communities through collaboration, support, advocacy and education.

The JEB plans to focus on aspects of the three-day convention, PR and one-day conferences, and fundraising. If you are interested in more information, please contact one of the facilitators.

Reuben Schuff (reuben@friendswhostutter.org)
Ryan McDermott (ryan@friendswhostutter.org)
Angelina Bruno-Metzger (angelina@friendswhostutter.org)

FRIENDS 2015 Group Photo

Thanks for attending and helping to make FRIENDS 2015 an unforgettable weekend with amazing people!

From the Julianne, Jack, Bill and Anna Rae Furlong, On behalf of my entire family, let me express our gratitude for the generous scholarship given us for attendance at this year’s 18th Annual Friends Convention. Upon arriving at the absolutely beautiful venue of the Cary NC Embassy Suites, we were warmly welcomed by everyone from the hotel and conference alike. As first time attendees we were unsure of quite what to expect. We had heard good reviews from previous convention goers but weren’t prepared for the total immersion of acceptance and feeling of family. To be honest, it was like going to a family reunion and meeting relatives you’ve never met before. What an overwhelming, palpable feeling of belonging! There really is no perfect way to describe the whole convention because it is a multi-dimensional feeling of support, acceptance and empowerment all at the same time. It really struck us that for the entirety of the convention, stuttering was the norm and no excuses were made for it which is the exact opposite of every other day of the year when fluency is king. What a perfect world it would be if we all took our unconditional acceptance and listening skills on the road. The Friends Convention has re-defined my understanding of and the ability to be “in the moment”. What a gift! We should all focus on the meaning of the communication and not the vehicle it arrives in. What a safe harbor you all have created over the course of 18 years! Kudos to you all for the workshops and speakers- they were awesome, insightful and inspiring! We can’t wait to see all our new “Friends” next year in Columbus. Thanks again for the generous scholarship. Personal thanks to Lee Caggiano, Ed Samp, the Ostergaards, Ruth McDermott and Jeff Shames. Our warmest regards, Julianne, Jack, Bill and AnnaRae Furlong

Photos from FRIENDS 2015

Events

Annual Convention and Regional One Day Conferences. Learn more about the Upcoming One-Day Conferences here

Stepping Up

A teen mentoring program gives teens who stutter the opportunity to support children who stutter

Convention Scholarship Program

A PhD convention scholarship program that helps PhD students gain a deeper understanding of the experiences of children who stutter and their families

Past Issues of Reaching Out

Reaching Out was a bi-monthly Newsletter –  a quarterly digest of reflections and information on the stuttering experience for young people.

Our mission is to provide support and education to children and teens who stutter, their families and clinicians.

Our annual conventions and regional one day conferences provide the opportunities for life changing experiences that can change long lasting feelings about stuttering and offer new hope for a life with stuttering. FRIENDS seeks to make life easier for young people who stutter and their families by: