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Shameless proud parent post

March
27

No, not from me. But this is something that really moved me and I felt it was worth sharing.

A co-worker today attended the Westchester County Women’s Hall of Fame Awards luncheon, at which his daughter was receiving the Merrill Lynch Westchester Leadership Award.

I think her words best relay why she was worthy of the honor and the scholarship it brings. These are excerpts from the essay she submitted as part of her application for the award:

“I have always been different. In books and movies, being different is always good. The hero and heroine are never ordinary people, they are special and gifted.
“But being different in real life is not always a good thing; most of the time it’s painful, lonely, and just plain hard. I have cerebral palsy and other learning disabilities including difficulty reading and writing.
“I would have to say that my disability, and more importantly people’s reaction to it, has had a big impact on my life and made me who I am today.
“It’s amazing how being different can be like holding a magnifying glass up to reveal those who are kind as well as those who are cruel. While I consider many of my ‘disabilities’ to be ‘abilities,’ I have had to spend much of my life learning how to be like others so I will be accepted.
“I hope to become a teacher, a special education teacher or maybe a social worker or an advocate for people with disabilities. I’d like to help other people like me get the help they deserve. Maybe I’ll even get a PhD.”

Wow. That’s some young lady.

This entry was posted on Friday, March 27th, 2009 at 4:12 pm by Jorge Fitz-Gibbon. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
Category: Cerebral palsy, Childcare, Developmental issues, Disabilities, Dyslexia, Emotions, Family, Growing, Health Care, Learning, Parenting, School, Teenagers, Values

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About this blog
Parents’ Place is a hangout for openly discussing the A’s to Z’s of raising a child in the Lower Hudson Valley. From deciding when to stop using a binky to when to let your teenager take driving lessons, Parents’ Place is here to let us all vent, share, and most of all, learn from each other.
Leading the conversation are Julie Moran Alterio, a business reporter and mom of a toddler, Jorge Fitz-Gibbon, a reporter and single father with joint custody of a 9-year-old son, and Len Maniace, a reporter and father of two sons.


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About the authors
Julie Moran AlterioJulie Moran AlterioJulie Moran Alterio, her husband and baby girl — “Pumpkin” — share their Northern Westchester home with three iPods and more colorful plastic toys than seems necessary to entertain one tiny human. READ MORE
Jorge Fitz-GibbonJorge Fitz-GibbonJorge Fitz-Gibbon has been a journalist for more than 20 years and a father for nine. READ MORE
Jane LernerJane LernerJane Lerner covers health and hospitals for The Journal News in Rockland, where she lives with her husband and two children. READ MORE
Len Maniace.jpgLen ManiaceLen Maniace is a reporter and father of two sons. READ MORE



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