During the evening of February 28th, the United Way of Millburn-Short Hills and the Millburn High School Self Advocacy Club met to celebrate their partnership. The United Way’s generous support of Self Advocacy and Millburn’s Applied Academics class allows us to attend conferences, talk to other schools, help students learn to self advocate, to participate in community based learning opportunities and other tasks associated with improving the lives of young adults.
During this meeting, the students who are part of the Self Advocacy Club at Millburn High School, did one of the hardest things that a person can do. The students spoke about themselves and the challenges that they face and how self-advocacy has helped them to overcome some of their challenges.
The members of the United Way Millburn-Short Hills Board were quite impressed with the way that the students presented themselves and with what they have accomplished. United Way Board President Michael Harwood says, "For several years now, the self-advocacy group has been presenting to our United Way. They are a terrific group -- with many leaving for college next year -- and their own advocacy efforts have certainly prepared them better to accomplish their goals. The United Way is glad to be a sponsor of the Advocacy program."
The group presentation was created and delivered by the co-presidents Tyler Silva, Eli Danto and Simon Weiss. Individual speeches were made by Alli Skinder, Tyler Silva, Eli Danto, Simon Weiss, Dolly Ravishankar and Samantha Kramer. Here are some quotes from the student’s speeches:
Simon Weiss, says, “The self advocacy program has helped me vastly. I have learned to not be afraid to go to my teachers even if I feel they can’t help me. I have also improved asking for help in all facets of my life through the self-advocacy program. This program has showed me that everyone is different and that having challenges in certain areas does not refrain them from succeeding overall.”
According to Tyler Silva, “Self Advocacy has helped me to improve on living with my disability and to know that I am not alone.”
“I joined self advocacy in the second semester of my sophomore year, and it is one of the factors that changed my high school experience,” says Eli Danto. ”Self advocacy has taught me to feel more confident in who I am, help me to understand my Individual Education Plan or IEP for short, and made sure that my teachers were implementing my accommodations!”
Self-Advocacy is a group that is designed to help build students ability to advocate for themselves. The group meets regularly to discuss issues related to Self Advocacy and to plan events designed to increase the awareness of Self Advocacy. The group is led by Roger Askins the Transition Coordinator at Millburn High School.