Sybille, student, ELA ambassador

Last year, as every year, Emilie-Carles Middle School participated in a fundraising campaign for the European association ELA, which funds the fight against leukodystrophy with its famous ambassadors, Zinedine Zidane and Florent Pagny. In October 2023, the school handed over a check of €4,966 to the ELA delegate, the result of the joint efforts of the students. Sybille Maginot had collected the most donations among the 6th and 5th grade classes. It was only natural that she was chosen to represent Emilie-Carles for the « ambassador awards » ceremony at the Cité des Sciences in Paris. She attended the event on June 5, accompanied by her French teacher, Delphine Bailly. After a train and metro journey, both new experiences for Sybille Maginot, they were welcomed at the convention center, where Sybille received a bracelet and Delphine received a set of various gifts (bracelet, backpack, and ELA-branded t-shirt). All the child ambassadors, wearing the same blue jersey with the golden ELA logo, were seated in the lower part of the auditorium while the accompanying adults sat in the upper part. At 11 a.m., the host Sandrine Quétier introduced Camille Estéban, a rap singer from Florent Pagny’s team on the TV show « The Voice ». Two families with children affected by leukodystrophy gave a very touching testimony in the presence of ELA France’s president, Crystelle Cottart, and ELA International’s president and founder, Guy Alba. The spotlight was on athletes, including Béatrice Hesse, the most decorated French paraswimmer with twenty Paralympic titles, seven world titles, and 18 European titles. Olympic hopefuls sent video messages, and a high school hip-hop group danced to Soprano’s song « Le coach ». ELA’s missions were reiterated, and the ambassadors were thanked for their collaboration in fundraising and their involvement in ELA’s activities such as « The ELA Dictation » and « Put on Your Sneakers and Beat the Disease », as done last October at Emilie-Carles Middle School. Children from all over France responded to the challenge set by Zinédine Zidane in 2023 to « mobilize a million students to take a billion steps ». During the ceremony, the young ambassadors were filmed to make a promotional video for next year, and a group photo was taken in front of the Cité des Sciences. A giant aperitif was offered to everyone, and entrance tickets allowed guests to visit exhibitions. Sybille Maginot and Delphine Bailly took the opportunity to explore the brain exhibit and the planetarium before returning home to Ancerville. Despite not meeting Zidane or Florent Pagny (who were present last year), this day will be remembered as an unforgettable experience.