This week George Martin recognizes Stacy who received the Community Participation Award. Earlier this year a good friend of mine, Stacy, received the Community Participation Award given annually, along with $200, by our local arc chapter, Community Advocates. I thought it would be good to recognize Stacy in this blog and let others know more about her.
I called Stacy to congratulate her and asked her what she thought about her experiences. She first said, “I love the people in the community”. I asked her to mention some important activities in her life.
“I’m working at Curious Kids, an after school program, as a Teacher’s Assistant. Gymnastics is the longest sport I ever did. I started when I was 9, and now I’m 28.”
When I asked Stacy what prepared her to participate in the community, her response was, “My Mom and my Dad. They put it together for me.”
Stacy also feels that being included in the regular classroom beginning in first grade, with being “pulled out for Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Physical Therapy made a difference. Then she told me about an experience in first grade. Her teacher had prepared a separate assignment for her, different from the other kids. “I told her I didn’t want to be treated differently from other kids. I wanted to do the same book report like everyone else.”
Stacy was indeed a worthy recipient of her award. Her high self-regard and the respect she is accorded for her speak volumes about the value of community participation.