Using Exposure to Create Understanding

Scholarship Entrant: Veronica from Parker, Colorado
Essay Question: If you could earn a living doing what you love most, what would it be, and how would it change the world? Describe the specific goals you would set to make that dream a reality.
Vote for Veronica: 67

When I began volunteering with Phamaly Theatre Company, I knew that I was passionate for service. However, I had no idea the impact Phamaly would have on me. Sudden exposure to this community helped me realize that these people are just that: people. There are no “disabled people” – rather, people with disabilities. While this is semantics, the difference was impactful: I realized limitations do not define us. I have become passionate about that statement, and if I were to devote my life to making that a reality for people, my life would be fulfilled. Despite being faced with violence, such as muggings and being pushed out of wheelchairs, actors in Phamaly return to the theatre night after night for rehearsals and performances. They teach me that the courage of perseverance in the face of ignorance and cruelty can result in greater knowledge about their community. Theatre is a wonderful gateway for such exposure. I plan on increasing exposure worldwide; the more people understand differences, the less fear and fewer subsequent actions there will be. In the future, I want to help the lives of people with disabilities around the world in the same way Phamaly helps people in Denver – through theatre. I already speak Chinese, so I plan to start my own disabled theatre company in China, and possibly other countries. It is not only the ethic of service that makes the greatest impact; the players are the ones that own the stage and improve the audience.

Vote for Veronica: 67

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