Twenty four years ago, my cousin was born four months premature. He has cerebral palsy affecting all four of his limbs and his speech. The doctor’s told my family that he would never drive, that he would never be able to live on his own, that he would never have a job. I am proud to say that he got his driver’s license at 16, he graduated high school and college and he has a job.
I have always wanted to be able to speak for people who have disabilities and are discriminated against because of it. I witnessed, first hand, that there is in face work place discrimination and it happens daily. My cousin was hired at a very large company and was fired after four days because he couldn’t climb a ladder. Climbing a ladder was not part of his job description. He was ridiculed because of his speech by not only his co-workers, but his direct report. I take a personal interest in what happened to him and that is why I have decided to go back to school and work towards a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resources Management. If I could change the life of someone and their family by being a mentor and helping them maintain permanent employment, that’s what I want to do. It’s a tough world and I don’t think that anyone should suffer because they have a disability. I want to be their voice.