Speech assignment for an award I would receive-
Thank you for choosing me as “The Most Popular Student in Brownsburg Schools.” This honor is special to me because it really shows that I greatly triumphed over the limitations of autism and what experts said I could do. It is with wonderful satisfaction and humility that I accept this gracious honor. I would like to thank my excellent friends, teachers, parents, sister and brothers, my facilitator Kriss, and my inspiration Tracy Thresher. Awards like this are rare, and you more than I deserve this honor. I have learned so much from you about generosity and perseverance.
When I first came to this school, you made me comfortable. You surrounded me with your love and passionate attention. Even when you saw me having terrible times with autism, you only helped me more. It was the easy thing to do to think I was just not able, but you selected the harder path by staying with me so that we are here together now. We are able to discover in all we have learned together three key lessons about success that transform us as persons and as a community. I want to discuss these lessons: that sincere honesty helps us to bring out our best, that only by working through our challenges can we discover who we can be, and that everyone has something important to say.
First, sincere honesty helps us to bring out the best in each of us individually and together as community. The times I could not study or perform did not keep you from knowing more potential was in me. You knew it and applied yourselves and me to the hard work before us. That you were this honest and did not pretend that my potential was not there is the only reason we are here. Life is so funny. When you let me write for the student newspaper in spite of my challenges, you students saw what was really important and that I spoke sincerely for your true hearts. My popularity is a reflection of your hearts’ honesty. This inspires my best.
Second, only by working through our challenges can we discover who we can be. There are times for all of us when we want to quit, but on the other side of that is our awesome championship self. It is the heart of each of us to persevere and become the champion God made us to be. We have done this together. My work and award is the fruit of your patience. Thank you so much for making this possible. All of you really deserve this award. All of you are my heroes.
Third, everyone has something important to say. All of us have a voice, an ability to experience, reflect on these things in life that are important to us all, and contribute a perspective. Often, the most handicapped will have the most grounded perspective. All we need to do is allow ourselves to listen with open hearts and believe in their voice. We must hear with the heart and know they are smart rather than just saying they look dumb and must be that way. Only then can we really have our healthiest perspectives. As you read my columns in the school newspaper, you lifted yourselves and me to new levels of understanding. You lifted hearts within the lowly each time you let yourselves be opened to belief in all of us. You passed over the strong to lift up the small and lowly. Thank you.
Today I shared three approaches to what makes us better individually and together. All that we truly know is through each other. When we thank each other with gratitude, we renew each other and our commitments to honesty, hard work, and the dignity of each person. Thank you again for the heroes each of you are for me. I’ve learned so much from you. Teaching is my life’s profession, and every one of you has a part in my work.