I am my own voice, and I need to make sure that whatever I need to happen actually happens. -Matthew Shapiro I run my IEP. It is a clear,

precise way to channel all of my hopes, dreams, and create goals and strategies that reflect my expectations. -Sarah Craig I am determined to

succeed in life. I am determined to keep my job instead of quitting because quitting doesnt get you anywhere. I am quite vocal as a selfadvocate for my needs in the classroom. I take full

responsibility for the quality of my education. -Catherine Elizabeth James I had to recognize what things I was good at when I was in elementary school. I know that I have a positive

attitude and Im very friendly, kind, handsome and caring. -Leroy Bonds I have been successful with many of my smaller goals. I wanted a drivers license. I really had to selfadvocate for that one.

-Kathryn Anderson At college, there will be a lot of changes in my life and I think about that time as when I will have to deal with my disabilities on my own.

Looking back, I realized that I put my disability to the side until the point that I couldnt put it off any more. -Arteezjah El

My friends and family support me. I get tutors. I set specific goals. I am disciplined. I do homework each night. -Caroline Tobe There are devious kids;

there are also devious adults. Sometimes I wonder why I bother going to school for hearing if they dont bother listening to me. The things I would like to

be in life are movie director, writer and rap singer. My hobbies are basketball, boxing and dancing. My mom is the best ever and I dont know

what I would do without her. -Tyneisha Garner When there is a situation that I am challenged with, I first think what my options are and then I think what

will happen if I pick each option. -Doniella Kissinger I never give up because I want to grow up and have a job and make enough money to take

care of myself. -Ryan Miller I am shy so I work hard to ask questions on my own without my mom. She wont ask for me most of the time anyway because she says I

need to do it on my own. -Tess Macdonald When it became time to enroll at my new high school, my sister and I enrolled ourselves. I was able to tell the guidance counselors what classes I wanted.

They didnt just assign my classes. -Jasmine Marie Etter School has always been difficult for me. My first-grade teacher would yell at me for not paying attention as I had ADD, and I

would yell back at her which would lead to several unpleasant visits to the principals office . -Andrew Dame My mother told me Im like a computer with less RAM. I work fine. It just

takes me longer. -Ben Allen I may never be perfect, but I know a lot of socalled normal people who are never going to be perfect either. -Ben Allen

I can help others understand the people that need help. Things are working out for me because I know a lot of stuff people taught me. I want to help others make it too. -Jarin Robertson

I have met all (my) goals. I have now decided to set new goals. I have graduated from school and I want to help others know they can make it too. -BK Smalls

I really changed my mind when I went to the Im Determined Youth Summit last summer in Washington DC. There were so many students there that really stood up for themselves. I hope I become a leader one day like

them. -Kaitlyn Redding No matter how uncomfortable or self-conscious I may feel when people stare at me, I ask myself, So? And I have decided to not care when people stare at me,

because I believe that it only matters what I think about it. -Benjamin Gibbs I have had to make some hard decisions. For example, I had to switch friends up and find new ones just to get my

work done. Thats the hardest thing I think in this world. -Jonathan Bey These privileges are mine and mine alone because my IEP is designed not just to get me through school but to help

me with ways of speaking more precisely and what to say or not to say. -Michael Williams Being in the Selfdetermination Club allows me to open up a little bit and understand my disability.

Now I know that Im not the only person who has to struggle with their disability. -Keshay Brown I demonstrate my selfdetermination by being on top of things and (am)determined to succeed with a passing grade.

Even though I have a disabilityI dont let it stop me frm achieving my goals. -Brittany Payne I learned that standing up for yourself and accepting lifes challenges is

something everyone needs to come to terms with whether disabled or not. -Sonia Murden I do not view my disabilities as defining me; I just try to work

around them. -David Aronson I honestly think people are afraid to admit they have flaws and accept their own as well as other peoples, but I think if they did, the world

would be a better place. -Katie Coburn I am determined to get a job, make money, get good grades in school, help my family and go to college.

I may have Aspergers Syndrome, but I still have a life. -Eric Hammond Ive always wanted to work with animals, wild

animals. I want to become a zoologist and finally pet a cheetah! -Erica Wilson Most people do not see me as the typical teenager. Teenagers are usually

consumed with friends, fads and fashion. Ethics, personal goals and community affairs are my passions. -Catherine James I have been through a lot in my sixteen years on

this earth, but I really enjoy the type of person I have become. -Kyle Perdue I am the only one who knows what is best for me and how much help I need

in class. I am 14 and do not need people telling me that I am not able to do something. Now I must learn to advocate for myself as I get closer to going out on my own. Like

everything else, this will take practice, practice, practice and lots of hard work. -William OConnell Sometimes, YOU have to make the change. And sometimes, when you are

speaking for yourself, you find you are speaking for others as well. -Jo-Elizabeth Strong I really want to be a leader. I want to help other students like me so

they do not have to suffer as I did. -Christian Knight I have set a goal to go to John Tyler Community College after graduating from high school. I want

to work in law enforcement. Self-determination has helped me understand that I have to be prepared for life after school. By understanding my disability, I feel I will be better

prepared to get a job or go to college. -Anthony Bratten I want to get married and have a family and get a good job, someday. Right now, I really want

to learn to drive. -Brooke Felts It is through my determination, advocating for myself, applying my IEP accommodations, modifications and goal-setting

I have worked to do my best. -Zachary Brown Now, I think differently. I realize that people with disabilities shouldnt have to be afraid of speaking out, or feel uneasy when discussing

this because society looks down on them. -Justin George I have a mission in life now which requires setting a good example for others to follow. I feel like I have

gone on a journey and become wiser. I have to prove things to myself and I know I can do it. When I accomplish the goals that I set for myself, I know that I can do

anything! My mom will always remember what I said. Aspergers? Aspergers? You mean they make hamburgers out of peoples butts?

Sometimes it is hard to make friends and be successful in school. But my motivation of what the future will be like encourages me to keep on trying.

When people underestimate me, I show them what I am made of. I am not a girl with a hearing disability. I am a girl who is deaf and can do anything she sets her mind to.

-Stephani Davis My penmanship is horrible, but enough about the bad things. I have found that technology such as word processing and spell checking are big helps.

-Aaron Bowman Im determined to be the soldier, the leader, and the hero in this battle against all of the obstacles in this journey to achieving my lifetime goals.

-William Dixon My favorite part of my family is my dog Abby. Abby is always is always there for me. If I rub her ears, she will listen to me for hours. My case manager is very nice, but sometimes she does not listen to

what I have to say. -Anne Downing

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