Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Students are including me in their emails

I told you on October 6th about the Virginia Youth Leadership Forum I speak at each summer at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia. Well, I have an update.

I started a Facebook listing a few weeks back and almost immediately two students who were at the last two forums, signed on to my listing as Friends. We've exchanged a couple of emails and our relationships are continuing to develop.

Then, on Monday, I received this note from another student who has been corresponding with me on a fairly regular basis since July:

"Wednesday I went to my own 504 meeting. I helped to figure out what accommodations I need. It was a great experience. I feel like I will be ready for college in a year."

The significance of this note is she wanted both Teri Barker-Morgan, the director of the program, and me to know she's advocating for herself in the planning of her Individual Education Plan (IEP). The student, Elizabeth, has credited her attendance at YLF and me as key components of her newly-found confidence in her ability and willingness to be a big part of her self-advocacy in her education planning.

She's a very determined young woman with a wonderful future to look forward to. I'm excited to see her taking an active role in her education, and humbled she thinks enough of our friendship to include me in her email notices like this.

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