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Spring 2010 I’m Determined Youth Summit Essay Quotes.

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1 Spring 2010 I’m Determined Youth Summit Essay Quotes

2 “My passion has always been to do my very best at everything I do. Just because I have a disability I do not see my abilities as limited.” -Thomas Allen

3 “I have shown self-determination in my college classes by studying consistently over and over instead of going to parties on campus.” -Adam Amick

4 “I take pride in my disability as it helps me bond closer with my friends at college and my former classmates from high school.” -Adam Amick

5 “Commitment, passion and responsibility; I have these qualities and I use them every day. I use them in community, in school, and with my family and I am looking forward to college.” -Alexander Anderson

6 “I see myself ten years from now enjoying my job in a salon, married with a family and kids, and maybe even owning my own barbering business. I will have to work hard to get to this point.” -Lauren Ashe

7 “I figured out that to get where I am, I had to be my own advocate. This is a skill I will use throughout the rest of my life.” -Lauren Ashe

8 “…I can become whatever I want to in life. I study hard and put forth my best effort at all times. I get very tired because I had to work so hard but I know it will be worth the effort.” -Presley Ashley

9 “In the future, I would like to become a registered nurse. I used to think this goal of mine would be impossible. The Self-Determination Club has helped me to think differently now.” -Caroline Austin

10 “While life will always be more difficult for me, my self- determination to do what I can, the best I can, will always be something I will work for.” -Julius Jamal Blazer

11 “I show self-determination by setting goals and striving to achieve them. One of my goals is going to college and I want to go to Radford University.” -Erica Bookout

12 “Disabilities are often only thought of in a negative sense but they have had their positive effects on me too. I have learned a lot about myself, and in learning to compensate for my disabilities, I have learned what I am good at.” -Cody Campbell

13 “Often, because of my wheelchair, people have a certain level of expectation of my abilities, but then I surprise them. I enjoy surprising them.” -Liam Cornwall

14 “I am currently advocating to get my county school system to integrate the bus system so students with disabilities can ride the same buses as students without disabilities.” -Liam Cornwall

15 “My teacher told me I could not take AP history. I told her I was going to do whatever I could to improve my grade in her class and make AP history. She told me I was being stubborn. I told her I was being determined.” -Phillip Dollins

16 “The biggest hurdle I face is lack of accessibility. My town has one accessible parking space and everyone uses it. I can’t get into many of the government buildings. All of this has taught me how to be an advocate for myself and for others with disabilities.” -Caroline Elgin

17 “I thought that I was not able to take a foreign language because I could barely speak and write English. But then I looked into ASL, which is now a major part of what I want to become in the future. My goal is to study ASL in college and (be) an interpreter.” -Erica Rachael Fiel

18 “College is way different than high school. I have had to learn to be self-reliant and a self-advocate even more. My self-esteem has grown as I have learned to communicate my needs. I’ve learned that if I don’t stand up for myself, no one else will.” -Ethan Harvey

19 “I feel I am a self-determined person. I intently participate in my IEP meeting. I set high goals, long term and short term and I plan how to achieve them.” -Dustin Horton

20 “Self-determination has become a big part of my life. I share my one- pager with my teachers. I lead my IEP meeting, too. This helps my teachers understand who I am and how my disability may affect me in their classes.” -John Huband

21 “I know that I learn different from other people. But this has not stopped me from doing things I want to do in high school.” -Sam Hulcher

22 “Throughout the years I’ve always felt that having a disability has made a big impact on my life. I knew I had to work harder with my study habits in reading and spelling. It gave me the strength to keep moving forward and not give up so quickly.” -Devin Jones

23 “I feel living with a disability has helped me better myself in many ways. I have discovered a lot of things about myself through learning and growing. I feel that I am unique and also different.” -Collin Knight

24 “Only by letting people in can you learn new ways to be yourself. I have learned that sometimes all you need is to be yourself to be accepted by others, and that’s a valuable lesson I’ll keep for life.” -Robert Maino

25 “I have accepted my disability and am determined to succeed. I have had the support of my parents and family, doctors, teachers and a few good friends. They love me and they want me to succeed which inspires me to work hard and be successful.” -Michael Marzzacco

26 “…I like having a job because that gives me a chance to show people that I can do things they think I cannot do. I have aides and teachers that help make things easier for me. I have goals for myself in life.” -Adam McMillan

27 “I am determined to reach my goals and not let others decide where my life leads. I know that I need help with some things, but I also know that I am the one who has to make the choices to get where I want to be in life.” Daniel Michael-Lee

28 “I made a one-pager on the computer and presented it at my meeting. For the first time, my teachers listened to what I had to say. I talked about what I wanted then to know about me such as…my dream job and the college I want to attend.” -Ryan Miller

29 “It is my dream to drive, my dream to live on my own and succeed as an equal to many in this world. I believe everyone should be treated equally no matter who they are or what they do.” -Sonia Murden

30 “Now…I am finding my voice and learning to advocate for my needs, my problems, and my ides. I have a new understanding of my disabilities and this has allowed me to begin to create a path to my future.” -Ethan Reed

31 “When someone tries to get me to do something I don’t like, I often show self-determination by considering whether or not it’s good to cave in to the way they want me to act. I feel like I have to be my own man.” -JB Rintels

32 “The Youth Summit and other conferences showed me how important it is to learn about your disability and to ‘own’ it. They have taught me to be proud of my disability because it has been a huge part in making me who I am.” -Tori Saylor

33 “Having just entered VCU, I am learning…it is mandatory to have the skills required to advocate for myself. My parents can no longer be my voice and they can no longer ‘help’ me through tough times; I need to get through on my own.” -Matthew Shapiro

34 “Since the day I was born I have had people tell me I was not going to make it and I should forget about my dreams and aspirations. As I have gotten older, I have become grateful for those who did believe in me.” -Maya Simmons

35 “…We need ideas to improve our public transportation. They only run in certain areas around town. I just wish the world would give us an opportunity to come and go as we choose.” -Ron Sims

36 “As I grow up, I want to be able to drive, get a standard diploma, go to college, have my own place and be able to work. Some people tell me I can do it and other people say they are unrealistic dreams.” -Samantha Stokes

37 “Every single day is a new experience, and along with it is the undesirable task of whether to let people push me around or ignore them.” -Blair Thomas

38 “I want to go to college but I have been told because of my disability I have not had the courses a college requires. My parents and others are working with colleges to develop courses that people with intellectual disabilities can take.” -JD Tressler, Jr.

39 “Each year, I mature and I learn what is acceptable behavior and what is not. I wish that my peers could be forgiving and stop giving me such a hard time for behavior I exhibited when I was in first and second grade.” -Hunter Vermillion

40 “I learned so much at YLF and the most important thing I learned was not to be embarrassed about my disability. Now I can tell anyone that I have a disability and it feels really good that I can say it.” -Cameron Wilmer


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