Since I last wrote, a lot has happened. So much in fact that I can’t believe it has only been a little over a month. In every part of my life I have had something either change for the better or for worse; but I guess that’s a true example of what life is. So I’m going to break it down into different categories. The categories will be as follows. Update on my funding to live on my own and assistance, family life and new business.
Having help from the agency is becoming a little easier as time goes on. They have been more flexible to my needs and accommodating to my ever-changing schedule. The best part of all of it is, if I have a problem with an assistant and if they aren’t able to show up my assistant will contact the agency and it is their responsibility to make sure that there is someone to help me out so that my parents and I won’t have to worry about it. I still find once in a while that I have to stick up for my needs. Especially when it comes to the interview process, they are not use to having someone that is interested in being apart of the interview with them. Just the other night I had to remind the person in charge of the scheduling that I wanted to be apart of the interview but then again what independent disable person doesn’t have to stick up for their rights so I’m kind of use to it. It was just temporarily frustrating but I think she learned something and that to me is all that matters. When I say that she is in charge of the scheduling I mean she does not decide what or when I do things. She is just the person that makes sure that people will show up when they are suppose to and don’t go over their hours and let me tell you she was put to the test this month because I lost one assistant and temporarily another one so I want to thank her for all of her hard work that she has done to make sure my life is still running smoothly even though she will say “ That’s okay it is my job”. I also want to thank my assistants and Tori for stepping in at the last minute to work extra hours so my life can be more efficient.
When it comes to my Family life we were thrown two curve balls this month. My great uncle Sidney past away, which is my moms last uncle he was 91 years old. I didn’t get to spend a tremendous amount of time with him but I will always remember him for his courageous smile and eyes that seemed to sparkle in mostly every picture. I don’t know why but I will always remember that he loved the gummy chews, the kind that are hard to find and come in a box. I think I will remember that because not many people except my brother and I like them. When I met him for the first time and found out that he loved them I was really happy. No one likes a memorial service but at his memorial service they had a soldier service before the actual service and let me tell you even though there were no words during the service it was extremely fascinating and powerful something I will never forget. Along with my great uncle Sidney my family lost our white furry member of the family. Junior Bryan martin at exactly three months before his thirteenth birthday, I will always remember the times we had together including bike rides, times by the fire, and just simply sitting outside together and enjoying the beautiful sunlight. He brought so much joy to our family and friends that is irreplaceable It is amazing how such a small animal can make such a impact on your life. He was their for me in difficult times in high school and often with us for many celebrations just wanting to get scraps from the table. Thank you dad for taking such good care of him in his last year of life, I know it wasn’t easy and thank you teddy for being there when I found out that Junior had past. I don’t know what I would’ve done without you. You are really maturing into a wonderful dog. I’m so happy that you are now sleeping in bed with me. I will miss Junior forever and he has definitely left a paw print in my heart. On a happier note my grandparents also known as “ NANA” and “ PAPA” will be coming home after almost two years of being in Arizona. I’m extremely excited because I haven’t seen them since then. It will be a wonderful summer. Also even though she is not a family member my friend Pearl Gannon feels like a family member so I decided to talk about her In this section. Unfortunately she has not received the necessary money to get an accessible van like I mention in an earlier post but a few days ago she was crowned ms wheelchair Illinois. I am very proud of her achievement and if you look up ms. Wheelchair Illinois on Facebook she would love your support. I will be sending invites to her page later this week to show my support for her. She has been through a lot and I am so happy she was able to receive something good and turn her life around for the better.” You Go girl”
Bam! My new career as a public speaker has really taken off. I feel as though I am a horse running out of a gate and taking off extremely fast. For something that I was waiting and waiting to happen, that seemed like it would never happen, I am shocked at how fast it all has come about. Let me start from the beginning. On February 26th, I started my day earlier than normal because I had a presentation at my cousin’s school, and of course I wore a purple dress for good luck, put my make up on, put my board in front of me, and I was ready to go. I knew that I was not doing this as a paid position, but I was thrilled to have the experience and get my name out there. Cleo once told me, “In the beginning, it is not about the pay. It is about the experience and getting your name out there.” This was a true example of that. For some reason, I never would have thought that my name would travel as fast as it did. People at that speech liked me so much and the messages I had to share that one of the people that wasn’t even there heard about my speech and wanted me to come and speak at their school. This was a perfect example of how patience and perseverance really can pay off. The funny thing was that the presentation itself was on perseverance.
Thank you to my cousin, Jordan, and the Lincoln Prairie School for listening to my message, carrying it out, and letting me share my story with your community so my career as a public speaker could take off. It is because of that speech that now I am able to say that for the month of April, I am not only getting paid to speak at the Arc Conference, but I am getting to speak at Hoover Math and Science Academy as well. That’s what I mean when I say that it is really taking off. As for Cleo and I, we have decided that we are better just as friends, but I am extremely grateful for all of the help and support she has given me up until this point, because without her help I do not believe I could be as successful as I am today when it comes to being a public speaker.
In the future, I am open to speaking to colleges, high schools, junior highs, elementary schools, people with learning challenges, and medical students. If anyone has an idea of where I could speak, or has a referral for me, that would be great! Thank you very much.
Your new public speaker,Jessi