Wednesday, October 10, 2012


When my friend Claudia heard I would be meeting a group of UF students to talk about a project they wanted to do about me, she laughed. "I hope they will forever ban you from that class"- she said jokingly. Most of the articles and media released about me started as some type of a class assignment. In ways, I can see her point. She did a photo presentation about me in 2007 that followed and was followed by Gainesville Sun Articles. David met me for a spread in Alligator. Some girl whose  name I don't remember took pictures of me for a photo class. Andres'hard work landed me on the list of Gainesville's most interesting people. Not every project ends up published by I'm still happy to do it. Two years ago, if not  more I was asked to help a student with his interviewing presentation and I jumped at the opportunity. Because whatever it is that people want me to do to learn more about my disability I will do it. In all honesty, it's been three years since anything was published about me. In many ways I feel like a different person. Not only have I finished law school, I have passed the Bar and got my green card. The Conductive Education Academy I have worked so hard to succeed has since collapsed. I'm now weighing my career options some of which may take my away from Gainesville. It's a very scary but also a very exciting point in my life for anyone to observe and chronicle.

 I want to do it, because if anyone can do my story justice it will be the young journalists of tomorrow. They will have the compassion, the understanding, the kindness everybody's personal story needs and the drive and determination to be seen and heard. As we set down trying to bounce off ideas off each other, me trying to interfere as little as possible, I've decided to be pretty much an open book. I always talk about the sacrifices my parents made for me,  how moving to Gainesville was pretty much a spontaneous mved although though through  in many ways not so much in  others. How alone I felt through the years I thought for my green card, how misunderstood in my quest to get into law school. How abandoned I still feel at times. We were sitting at a creamery strategizing over Gelato and I adored their passion, excitement and involvement. Some of them had a personal reason for wanting to do this. And in that way, I think their work will be fired up and true. Even if their work doesn't make it outside of the classroom I  don't mind . Whatever I can tell them, whatever I can show them perhaps one day will inspire them to dig deeper, to care more, to uncover great human interest stories. Because I've seen students working much harder, delivering much better work than some professionals. And if I can put fire under them to set them on a quest I will do my best to try. The mission goal is awareness, truth and hope. The dedication it takes to shed the layer of routine and show people with disabilities as real human beings without the sensational tone is something I hope this can accomplish

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