[Greater-baltimore] Fwd: [Njabs-talk] Great News to Share

AZNOR99 at aol.com AZNOR99 at aol.com
Sat Jun 12 21:39:07 UTC 2010

Congratulations to our own Melissa Lomax.
 From: qmsingleton at comcast.net
Reply-to: njabs-talk at nfbnet.org
To:  njabs-talk at nfbnet.org
Sent: 6/12/2010 5:31:16 P.M. Eastern Daylight  Time
Subj: [Njabs-talk] Great News to Share

The following message  was sent to Joe Ruffalo this  morning. 

Congratulations! Both girls are making New Jersey  Proud!

Two New Jersey students have

> been selected to  participate in an empowering and memorable experience in

> Damascus,  Syria.  The Open Hands Foundation has chosen Shafeka Hashash  

> I, Melissa Lomax, to take part in the Youth Ability  Summit.  This

> opportunity will allow us to continue  advocating for others and making a

> difference in the lives of many  people across the world!


> Both of us students are  active members of the National Federation of the

> Blind, on both  national and state levels.  Shafeka Hashash is the current

>  Vice President of the New Jersey Association of Blind Students, an  

> member of New Jersey's Northeast chapter, and speaker for  both Parents of

> Blind Children and for NFB state  conventions.  I am an active member of

> the Greater Baltimore  NFB chapter in Maryland, a board member of the

> Maryland  Association of Blind Students, a speaker at New Jersey NFB

>  conventions, and a 2010 National Scholarship winner.  Moreover, the  both

> of us have benefited from being participants in the LEAD  (Leadership,

> Education, Advocacy, and Determination) program. This  program unites New

> Jersey high school students with successful,  blind mentors to learn about

> technology, issues facing the blind,  and ways to gain success and

> independence in the future.  In  addition, students learn and increase

> their mobility, daily  living, communication, and organizational skills.


> With  the confidence and training provided by LEAD and the NFB, we have

>  learned not to allow our blindness to stop us from pursuing our goals  

> aspirations.  Instead, we are active members in our  communities with a

> desire to continue helping others.   Shafeka is a rising senior at Bergen

> County Academy.  She  serves as captain of the mock trial team, a

> representative of  Model United Nations, a member of the Junior Statesmen

> of America,  the National Honor Society, and the Tri-M Music Honor 

> and  a volunteer for the Boy Scouts of America and many other community

>  service activities.  Currently, Shafeka strives to receive an

>  International Baccalaureate diploma in addition to her high school  one.

> After graduation, she hopes to attend either Columbia or  Princeton

> University to major in international affairs or  political science and

> minor in Middle Eastern studies.  Upon  receiving her bachelor's degree,

> her aspirations will lead her to  law school and to a career in the United

>  Nations.


> I, Melissa, presently attend the University  of Maryland-Baltimore County

> and in the fall, I will be a  sophomore.  Pursuing an English Literature

> major, English  writing minor, and secondary education certificate, my

> aspirations  are to become a high school English teacher.  This career  

> suits

> me because I have always enjoyed helping  others and as a teacher, I can

> spend a great deal of time  assisting students with improving their skills

> and strengthening  their futures.  Currently, I am a member of the 

>  Society of Collegiate Scholars and English Council of Majors and Minors, 

> volunteer for several non-profit organizations, a leader and  coordinator

> of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, and an advocate  for solving the

> world hunger crisis by assisting in the  coordination of a world hunger

> banquet and a "Thirsty for Water"  day event.


> On Monday, June 7th, we were notified by  the Open hands Initiative and

> congratulated for our acceptance  into the Youth Ability Summit.  This

> summit is based off of  the United Nations Convention for the Rights of

> Persons with  Disabilities.  We are two of only ten Americans selected, 

>  of which have different disabilities and range from age fifteen  through

> twenty-one.  Our trip will begin on July 29, 2010,  when we will fly out 

> Damascus, Syria for six days.  There,  we will meet with ten Syrian

> advocates of the same age  range.


> This summit will first begin with several  sessions focused on educating 

> about the many issues and  inequalities that people of all disabilities

> face.  Then, we  will work together in creating a comic book, publicizing

> these  inequalities and issues to the uniformed, general public.  A  comic

> book will be the best method of reaching developing  countries, which

> comprise a large portion of the world.  As  for developed ones, like

> America, we will use the comic book in  addition to brainstormed 

> as YouTube videos-to best  reach these populations.


> While we are learning and  working together to make a difference in the

> world, researchers  will spend time studying us.  They want to know the

> ways in  which we feel included and ways we can work together with society

>  to obtain equality.  The findings will be published in journals, used  in

> presentations, and sent to the organizations that we advocate  for, thus

> providing another tool to further relay our  message.  In learning and

> teaching with Syrian advocates, we  hope to change the face of 

> on a global  level.


> Best Regards,

> Melissa  Lomax


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