Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Video of Eliza's Sept 26, 2010 Buddy Walk Keynote address




Thanks to Niki Richards for taking and posting this video of Eliza on You Tube! I am including a few photos from that day and a copy of the speech she gave at the event below.



Eliza proudly wearing her Southern Oregon University T-shirt.


Eliza with 'little' brother, Isaac!





Singing 'The Climb' with Ariel Rogers.



Jacob McLean, Ariel Rogers and Eliza - singing 'The Climb'

Eliza’s Buddy Walk Speech – September 26, 2010
Hi. My name is Eliza Schaaf. In case you didn’t know, I happen to have Down syndrome. I live up on the Greensprings with my Mom, my Dad, my brother Wilder and my ‘little’ brother Isaac.
Some of the things I like do are reading, playing with friends, parties, art and scrap booking. I also enjoy children and writing. Someday I hope to be a children’s book author. I also want to teach reading to younger children and eventually get a job as a teacher’s assistant.
15 years ago, I was here at Hawthorne Park walking in the Down Syndrome Association of Southern Oregon’s first Buddy Walk. That was also the year I turned 5 and started my first school at Southern Oregon State College (now SOU) as a Kindergartner. From age 6 to 16 I went to Pinehurst School. For the last 4 years I have been at Ashland High School and this past June, I graduated with the class of 2010.
The people standing up here with me are some of the friends I have made along the way. Some are from Pinehurst. Some are from Ashland High. Some are classmates, teachers, and neighbors. All of them are my friends and mentors.
When I was 5 there were many things I didn’t know. I didn’t know how to read. I didn’t know how to write a speech. I didn’t know how to be a public speaker. But my public school education taught me how.
I have never thought of myself as disabled. I am not a disability. I am a person - a person who loves to learn. This fall while my brother Wilder is starting college at Washington State University, I am continuing my education and following my dreams. I am helping teach art at Pinehurst. And tomorrow, I start my first class, ‘Introduction to Ceramics’ at MY new school, Southern Oregon University. I am pretty excited about that and just a little nervous!
I have some advice I would like to share with all of you.
First…to all my friends who have Down syndrome:
…BELIEVE IN YOURSELF!
…….Dream big dreams about your future!
………..Surround yourself with people who can help you reach your dreams.
To parents:
….BELIEVE IN YOUR CHILDREN! – all of us.
……….Hold doors open so that we have the opportunity to learn
and grow.
……………Be our voice while we are young and help us find our
own voice.
To classmates, educators, medical professionals and politicians:
…Expect us to do what you do.
……..Keep the bar high and don’t underestimate what we can
achieve.
……….We are people too and we are more alike than different.
………….Help us learn and allow us to teach you.
In closing, I would like to play you one of my favorite songs. How many of you guys know Miley Cyrus from Hannah Montana? If you know the song, please sing along. Richard, Hit it!....
Miley Cyrus - The Climb Lyrics
I can almost see it
That dream I’m dreaming but
There’s a voice inside my head sayin,
You’ll never reach it,
Every step I’m taking,
Every move I make feels
Lost with no direction
My faith is shaking but I
Got to keep trying
Got to keep my head held high
There’s always going to be another mountain
I’m always going to want to make it move
Always going to be an uphill battle,
Sometimes you going to have to lose,
Ain’t about how fast I get there,
Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side
It’s the climb
The struggles I’m facing,
The chances I’m taking
Sometimes they knock me down but
No I’m not breaking
The pain I’m knowing
But these are the moments that
I’m going to remember most yeah
Just got to keep going
And I,
I got to be strong
Just keep pushing on,
There’s always going to be another mountain
I’m always going to want to make it move
Always going to be an uphill battle,
Sometimes you going to have to lose,
Ain’t about how fast I get there,
Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side
It’s the climb
There’s always going to be another mountain
I’m always going to want to make it move
Always going to be an uphill battle,
Sometimes you going to have to lose,
Ain’t about how fast I get there,
Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side
It’s the climb
Keep on moving
Keep climbing
Keep the faith baby
It’s all about
It’s all about
The climb
Keep the faith
Keep your faith
Please believe in us. We have a lot to learn, and we can teach you a lot about ‘the climb’.
Thank You.

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