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How a Supportive Teacher Changed My Life With a Disability

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I competed in the Ms. Wheelchair Maryland pageant this year. Although I didn’t take home the title, I grew as a person and was surrounded by many people who believed in me exactly as I am and won the people’s choice award. In my opinion, the love and support from people who value you for being exactly who you are means more than any crown ever will.

For those who don’t know, writing and reading were my struggle subjects all the way through middle school. Because of a middle school language arts teacher who empowered me to reach my full potential, I was able to graduate high school at the age of 17 with no need to take prerequisite reading and writing courses in college.

Now, eight years after this teacher came into my life, I am majoring in Communication Studies, write and edit for disability awareness organizations and had the privilege of celebrating my first public speaking event with him there to cheer me on.

It’s amazing how much someone can change a life by believing in a person exactly as they come. Never change who you are for anyone. As I often say, everyone has a difference because it keeps this world an interesting place, and those who see your value without telling you to change who you are matter most.

Getty image by Kris Cole.

Originally published: December 8, 2018
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