Sharing my Disability Journey

This guest blog post is written by former Think College intern, Rachel Adams-Duffy. Rachel graduated from Turning Point at Bergen Community College in May 2022. After graduating, Rachel was invited to speak at an elementary school where a fifth grade class recently read the book “Out of my Mind,” a book based on a character that was non-verbal and had Cerebral Palsy.

On June 6, 2022 I had the opportunity to speak at Long Memorial Elementary School in Saddle Brook, New Jersey. Getting the chance to share my disability experiences with fifth graders meant the world to me. Sharing my journey and thoughts with young students always changes the ways in which I view my life because education and disability are so extremely important for those who may not understand. Sharing my personal journey means so much to me. I am so thankful to be able to share, and educate others that want to learn about me and my life. I have always been told by individuals around me that I inspire them. I am not here to inspire, more to show the world that I am capable of achieving anything I set my mind to despite my physical limitations. Speaking and interacting with 5th graders meant so much to me and it was an honor to share my journey with them. What I learned and took away from this experience and speaking engagement is that nothing is impossible, and sharing my disability journey with others is what will change the world. I am truly thankful for the opportunities I have been given since my advocating journey started. The experience and opportunity to interact with 5th graders truly brought me so much happiness. Getting the opportunity to interact with 5th graders made me realize just how passionate I am about educating others more than I already have and for that reason, I hope it continues to inspire those around me and make a difference in other individuals' lives. Sharing my experiences with others truly makes me realize how strong I am as a person and that in itself means so much to me.

About the blog author: My name is Rachel Adams-Duffy and I am in my final year at Bergen Community College in the Turning Point Program. I attended a variety of academic classes during my experience at Bergen. I am overwhelmingly excited to graduate and enjoy my summer with my family and friends. I live with my mom, dad, two sisters, and brother. I hope to return to school and receive a bachelor’s and master's degree in Child Social Work.

Project: 
National Coordinating Center