On the weekend of September 7 – 9th, The Way to Happiness Foundation hosted an international convention at its headquarters in Glendale, CA. Happy House’s entire staff and volunteers attended most of the weekend and were delighted to hear extraordinary wins and programs using The Way to Happiness worldwide.
Groups who told their stories included groups from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico who are cutting crime rates, to Harlingen, Texas where youth in ROTC programs are using TWTH, to a courageous mission to the Congo to stop a war, to a staggeringly successful celebrity campaign in Venezuela, another in transformative dissemination in Allende, Mexico with a new Way to Happiness Park, a new initiative in South Africa and the entire continent and many more.
Happy House presented its story and the story, as told by Executive Director Donna Stewart of Happy House Community United San Jose, of their extraordinary success in running two San Jose city owned youth centers. Nancy kicked it off giving a thumbnail account of the creation of Happy House leading up to the mailing of One Million copies of the booklet and the subsequent development of the How to Make Good Choices booklet based on TWTH and intended for children. Stephanie Black, Program Director at Community United’s Starbird Youth Center, delighted attendees with a lively demonstration of some lessons from the Good Choices Program, including treats for all the “right choices” answers!
Executive Director Carolyn Brown and her staff, Program Director, Calvin Mass and Teen Coordinator, Tyler Forshey, from the Santa Barbara Boys and Girls Club also attended and were able to meet with many others who are running programs and had many thoughts about expanding their Good Choices Program to teens. Happy House attendees also included Good Choices Mentor, Monique Williams, who was just luckily in town from Columbus, OH and got to get a great look at how other groups have expanded.
There were many other panels and presentations. Some of note were Joni Ginsberg, ED of TWTH Fdn International’s how-to-deliver TWTH workshops to various “publics” was invaluable and fun; Lance Miller did a spot-on seminar on sales—useful in ALL endeavors; and TWTH Fdn President, Carolyn Percy provided very useful public affairs and presentation materials for introducing TWTH to new friends in business, government, the arts and everyday life.
On Saturday PM the attendees were treated to a wonderful meal at Castaways in Burbank overlooking the city and Bula Barua presented her extraordinary works of art on the 21 precepts of TWTH that will appear for the entire month of October 2012 on electronic billboards in the city of Atlanta, GA. Nancy also received a Lifetime Happiness Award for her contributions over the years. Upon receiving it she asked us to close our eyes, join hands and envision a world where The Way to Happiness was a way of life.