Thursday, August 5, 2010

Let Nothing Stop You and Make a Bigger Difference!

A few months ago, I was awarded to be chosen as one of the Kessler Disabilities Scholarship Recipients. As a recipient, I was expected to fulfill the Kessler Disabilities Scholarship Sponsor’s requirement which was to successfully complete The Washington Center program (TWC). In the past semester, I have not only successfully completed TWC program, but I have also fulfilled my other highly educational and professional expectations. I have, ultimately, embraced ALL available political opportunities which have existed in TWC and beyond (in the nation’s capital); mainly, because in the past, I told myself that I would make the biggest difference I can for this world. For example, before I arrived here, I wanted to, primarily, make the biggest impacts to the National Security community AND, secondarily, to the international community as well.

Throughout my time here, I have been so eager to learn about the various issues related to the National Security field, because, I was really so curious about seeing how different departmental officers and non-profit organizational leaders worked together to handle with the several foreign policy matters in the legal, diplomacy, and military institutions. I also wanted to give the important leaders from these departmental offices and non-profit organizations a GREATER understanding of who I was, individually, representing on behalf of the Deaf community. And, I eventually realized that from participating in both The Washington Center’s Law and Criminal Justice community and The Truman National Security Project's "Security Springboard” community, making a contribution to these communities was strongly important.

So I learned SO MUCH from participating in these communities and, I am sure others interns and leaders have learned from me about my unique identifiable characters—race and disability. My experience here was truly so indisciplinarily diversified, varying from my participating in the Public Policy Dialogue meeting for a Senator on Capitol Hill to the Intern Summit panel meeting with the State Department Foreign Service Officers at the State Department and to The Truman National Security Project's "Security Springboard” luncheon meeting with Truman Fellows and Scholars at the John Hopkins University.

After attending these meetings, I was really grateful and deeply pleased to have achieved MANY THINGS on my own. The contributions which I have made here have, indeed, turned out very POSTIVELY; and, which have also convinced other young people to follow in the same direction most INFLUENTIALLY. And, there’s no question about it—that, the National Security field will, ultimately, become an exciting and intellectually stimulating field which other young people may explore into. Besides attending the TWC programs and Truman programs, I have witnessed The 20th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and The Disabled American Veterans Convention of 2010, headlined across the front pages of The Washington Post because it was something that have, indeed, insinuately, contributed to National Security community in a seemly small way, emphasizing the importance of valuing the disability community’s contribution to the National Security community.

As a person of disability, I now STRONGLY believe that I can contribute to the National Security Community. And, being a Deaf, African-American woman, I would like to give you my wisdom: Always keep on marching forward in the right direction, always let nothing stop you from, politically, ACHIEVING anything coming in your direction; and, keep reaching for the bigger sky because nothing is ever IMPOSSIBLE!



Tiffany said...

Hi Toronja, my name is Tiffany Pearsall and I am sorry to contact you like this but I am trying to get in touch with Glenelle Williams. Please contact me at 215-828-2507.

CnsmrRep said...

When I co-conceived and co-named: "The Americans with Disabilities Act", it had far more to do with both our nation's security interests as well as it's military veteran's interests than anyone is aware. I applaud your efforts so far in that direction, and encourage you to pursue your dreams and visions that might take you and the disability world so much beyond where it is today.

NASA has finally begun to include Astronaut's with disabilities in the Astronaut Corps and on missions, and that is something that I spent 42 years trying to accomplish. You have the potential to lead the "movement" and the cause of people with disabilities far beyond where any of us have gotten before, and I end by echoing the late Justin Dart, Jr's. famous words: "Lead on"!