10th Annual Power Education Scholarship

10th Annual Power Education Scholarship


You guys are young and that’s great. and you probably are not going to experience some of the negative things that people have experienced that have disabilities On the other hand, you will — and I
can guarantee this — you are going to experience discrimination in your lives; if you have already too. and I can only say to you, “Don’t let that stop you.” Alpha One would not be here if we would
have let that stop us back then and other people with disabilities who have been successful wouldn’t be where they are if they had let that stop them So I would encourage you to live a life of great expectations rather than low expectations Often we are told we can’t do things, and the fact is we know that we can; we’re quite able to do anything we want to Now one of the compelling reasons that Alpha One decided to offer this scholarship was that we recognize that higher education is critical in the future earning power, and to your personal independence and freedom. And again — with the support of the board
we are able to this, and this is our tenth year of awarding these scholarships. There are opportunities out there for all of you. I hope you’ll strive for them. I wish you all the best and congratulations. It is my pleasure to introduce Elizabeth Meade, who is a former scholarship winner who really embodies what I was talking about before. Elizabeth is leading the life of great expectations and it was a pleasure to meet her four years ago, She made enough of an impression on us that Elizabeth
is now a member of our board of directors. I always appreciate the insight that she brings to board meetings; as an individual with a disability, as a
person who uses some of our services. It’s a pleasure to welcome her here to speak. One of the things I learned, the biggest and
most important thing for education for me is that I’m able to grow as a person, whether that’s through talking with other people with disabilities, as I’ve had the great honor to finally do
so when I went to college, because I was the only person with a disability in my high school. So when I went to college there was such a great relief for me to meet other people who might be going through
the same things that I was going through. And be able to learn from them, and learn myself. One of the things I learned throughout college, was that
while it might be good to get straight A’s which I had a habit of doing that it was better for me to learn from my experiences in studying. Learn that if I can’t, that if I need to
take notes that I ask someone to do so. That being, being vulnerable isn’t a bad thing; it’s a human thing. It’s not something that just people with disabilities have to deal with. Though people with disabilities might have more vulnerabilities than other people, it’s a great strength, and it’s a great point of my education and I think any human’s education to be able
to reach out to other people and ask for help, and to develop your own pillar of strength and compassion and have other reach out to in you in the same mechanism I believe that everyone has this amazing story to tell whether they have something they’re not able to do, which we call a disability, which everyone has something they’re not able to do. Whether it’s small and invisible, such as a learning impairment that you can’t see when you walk up to someone. Or whether it’s visible, such as being in a wheelchair, I think the fact that everyone lives life, everyone
has sorrows, and fears, and vulnerabilities and insecurities, the fact that everyone goes through life
in their own way and can can let other know that they’re not alone in whatever struggles they face. And I think that it’s very important that you continue to strive and that you continue to desire things, and go after what you desire. And you don’t give up, just don’t give up on what ever you want to do. Because it’s really, really important to continue living and continue living the happiest that you can live. and that you show other people that just because you’re different, just because your different it doesn’t mean you are any less worthy of love, or any less worthy of appreciation of other people That in fact we have so much more to offer
to than many people would think us capable of. Thank you. [applause]

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