Cleft Connect Chat is a monthly virtual gathering for teens who were born with cleft conditions.
With representation from at least four countries, they share their experiences and see how they can support Operation Smile’s patients, too.
With support from adult facilitators (who were also born with a cleft), the group also takes part in games and exercises that help to boost their communication skills and confidence. Guest speakers often join the chat to share their wisdom and answer questions.
Our next gathering will be from 8-9 p.m. ET on Sunday, Oct. 8!
From Panel to Platform
During our International Student Leadership Conference in 2017, student volunteer Brady Hishmeh shared his story of having a cleft condition. Brady invited his peers with a cleft to join him on stage, and they all answered questions from the hundreds of participants gathered to support Operation Smile.
What was a presentation has turned into a platform.
Every year since 2017, we’ve invited our treasured community of students and supporters born with cleft to share their perspectives during our conferences. We love hearing from them, and we’re honored they use our platform as a way to give back to our patients worldwide.
Join our Community
We’re launching a regular virtual gathering for members of our community ages 13 to 18. This is an opportunity to connect, collaborate and hear from keynote speakers. In the future, we’d like to introduce breakouts and mentors. As “Cleft Connect” grows, we would like to offer forums for parents and medical professionals.
Mark your calendars! 2023 dates are: Oct. 8 and 29, Nov. 5 and 19, and Dec. 10