Congratulations to Maximo Pimentel, from Boston, Massachusetts, whose essay regarding his Young Adults Leaders Fellowship at the Massachusetts Advocates for Children (MAC) was included in the newly published book, Leadership for Intellectual Disability Service: Motivating Change and Improvement. Maximo’s essay described his training as an advocate which started after a year of taking college classes as part of the Massachusetts Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment Initiative (MAICEI).
Maximo shared “I learned how to speak up for myself and also for others. I went with the MAC staff to the Massachusetts State House and learned how to advocate with state senators and house representatives about inclusive higher education bills and to ask them to sponsor bills.” Explaining what it was like to talk to state legislators about his experiences, Maximo said “It's very interesting because they got to see a different point of view. They were impressed with students who talked to them with their stories. They feel connected.” Max has a lot to share with legislators.
Through the MAICEI initiative, he attended Roxbury Community College and then transferred to Bunker Hill Community College. After seeing all that MAC does, he switched from a business to a human services major. The book editors, Fintan Sheerin and Elizabeth A. Curtis remarked that “Maximo offers a powerful example of how people themselves can change things. He reminds us that, in the final analysis, the person with the intellectual disability is the expert on their intellectual disability and it is from them that change must come”. Asked how he felt about having his essay included in this new publication, Maximo remarked “I feel really fortunate to be sharing my experience in this book. This book will help not only the youth with disabilities here in the US, but around the world.” Well said, Maximo!
(Photo courtesy of Mass Advocates for Children)