TAA-MN Youth Ambassador - 2014
Hi! I’m Abby Klugman and I am excited to be the new TAA Youth Ambassador for MN. I just got back from participating in the Youth Ambassador training and National Advocacy Day in Washington DC. Wow. The entire experience was pretty amazing. First of all, for me, this was the first time I have been in a room full of teens (and some adults) with Tourette’s. The thing that stood out about that were how totally different we all are from each other. In the training, they taught us that Tourette’s is an individual disorder, different for each person, and you could tell that was correct by just looking around the room. There were some things that were the same about all of us though. First of all, we are a very friendly and welcoming bunch of people. Even though I didn’t know anyone, I never stood by myself for more than a minute before someone would start a conversation. Secondly, we are all very committed to telling other people what it is like to have Tourette, so that kids like us have an easier time in school and in life. And lastly, we are really a pretty typical bunch of teens.
Visiting Capital Hill was a great experience. I was a little nervous. Since Congress was on recess we met with the staffers. For the most part, they seemed to listen carefully to our message and requests. They couldn’t really say “yes” to our requests though, only that they would make sure their Senator or Rep saw the material. That was a little frustrating.
I have my YA materials and had a chance to practice the talk during the training. I am excited to get started. My goal is to give a few talks this school year and then schedule as many as I can over the summer and into next year. If you want me to come and talk with your school, youth group or sports league, be sure to ask!
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We hope you find this post from our new Youth Ambassador interesting. We think that Abby will do a great job. Be sure to contact us @ firstname.lastname@example.org to request a presentation from Abby or to set up teacher in-service training or other training in your area.
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Blog edited by Lori & Brian Swerine, TAA-MN Board Members and TS parents
“Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.”William James