Describe one of your favorite magical or break-through moments that you created or experienced with the help of the Drums Alive program
One of the best experiences for me was being able to fly to Rhode Island to train and be certified by Carrie. As an individual with a diverse ability this was such a great opportunity and I learned a lot from her. Another great and memorable experience was when we flew to Boston to participate in the National Shape Convention. I got to meet so many great people that week but I would have to say that the moment I am most proud of was when Carrie had me come up front and help her lead one of the sessions with the other instructors. I will never forget that day.
Please describe your background.
Well, I myself am an individual with a diverse ability. I had brain trauma due to a difficult delivery into this world. I have tried very hard for that not to define who I am. I am now 32 years old and love my everyday life. I work 3 part-time jobs one being an interviewer for Advocacy Alliance. I go into group homes and state centers with a team of caseworkers to talk to individuals like myself to see what the need is in their life. I love encouraging others. This year I have been the keynote speaker for 3 conferences. This has been a great opportunity for me to share my story! I love educating others about Drums Alive and what we are seeing with our superstar program. As individuals with diverse abilities, we can be leaders in our communities we just need to be given a chance. I also have a younger sister Erica who is a special education teacher who came to the training with me as well as my mom and together we are a team in reaching out into the community with Drums Alive.
What initially drew you into Drums Alive?
What drew me to Drums Alive was when my mom started teaching Drums Alive at our Y. I would see her leading our superstars on Saturdays and I thought I would be fun to teach this. That is what inspired me.
What makes you want to share the Drums Alive program with others?
What makes me want to share Drums Alive with others is that for me it creates awareness as to how much fun Drumming is and how it helps individuals like myself.
How do you use the Drums Alive program to be of service to others in your community?
Since the training, I go into the community and share Drums Alive with others. I go into a day program twice a month on my own and teach those with diverse abilities. This has been so much fun. I have my own line up of music and it has been fun to watch them having fun and seeing their smiling faces.
I also have gone into a mental health day program with my mom and that has been fun too. We even did a presentation at their yearly conference. I love to share about our experiences with Drums Alive. I also help co-teach our superstars class on Saturdays at our y with my mom and my sister. This has been so much fun to do together and again I love to help encourage others to move and dance to the music.