The College Experience has helped me gain independence by learning how to cook and how to budget here and there. The program teaches you how to advocate for yourself, and I wish it went longer than a two-year program so I could learn to do more things on my own.
I love my apartment because I am on my own, and it just feels like I am comfortable in my complex. I know all my landmarks now, and I’m very comfortable in my settings. I love the apartment because I am finally “adulting” slowly. I entered an internship from a long time ago at a hotel, and that was one of my weaknesses because I was a host and had to clean up everyone’s mess like a busgirl. So I finally realized that food prep wasn’t for me and hosting wasn’t for me either. And now I am actually at a real job working with kids at the YMCA. All of the kids are really nice, and all of the staff members are just so accepting. They know I have some challenges.
I love public speaking because I have an intellectual disability, which is what I call a “hidden disability. It’s called, “Deletion-22.” It’s a genetic disorder. The reason why I love to advocate for it is because I do not want people to think I’m odd because I want them to give me a chance and not give up on me. So I love to educate people about it. Recently from last year I did a “22q at the Zoo” for public speaking in Utica, NY. And I love raising awareness for not only me to learn about it, but I want everyone else to learn about it. I spoke at a TED conference also in Fort Lauderdale, Florida for teachers to understand people with disabilities about how they act and am just very passionate and want to travel the whole world and country to learn how to speak better about Deletion 22.
I look up in Transitions to the girls who are a little older than me because they have the same interests as me and they were here longer in Transitions. They all love to travel and so do I. And they just are cool, awesome people. I’m just very thankful for people like these staff who give us people with intellectual disabilities a chance. We do meetings to talk about fun things like if we can all afford going on fun adventures to places like Wildwood, NJ. You name it…we’ll go to it. Thank you for taking the time to read this!
Watch Amy’s viral video, “22Q” below!