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I was in the 3rd grade when my parents told me that I was losing my eye sight. I remember feeling relieved that the reason I was struggling in school was because of this thing called Stargardt’s Disease; and not because I was not smart. My parents were heartbroken for the fear that my life would be difficult because of my degenerative sight.

Since 2007, I have lost a great deal of my sight but I have the most important thing a person can have: a loving, warm home. During my work on the Governor’s Statewide Youth Council, I have met children who are homeless living on the streets or in hotels. These children have to work so hard to do well in school because they have no home to call their own. I have seen them wonder where their next meal will come from and try to figure out how they will be able to go back to school without school supplies. I have seen what it really is to be handicapped.

Through the Governor’s Statewide Youth Council, I have been able to help fill the backpacks of students who have no way to get pencils, notebooks, pens, calculators and paper. My time with School on Wheels, in Brockton, as well as our donation drive as a Council, has been so rewarding for me. It has helped me redefine the word “handicap” and figure out that I am pretty lucky.

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