By: Sherwin Strong

 

I live in the beautiful Comox Valley. As a 13 year resident and 5 year Advocate Liaison, I am all for Equality. In my role as an Advocate Liaison, I have become involved with the young adults in the Valley by supporting their community inclusion, employment and better quality of life. I have also been able to be part of the Indigenous Advisory Committee of Community Living BC and the Self Advocate Committee from Inclusion BC.

 

My 3 closest friends are a perfect example of Equality and Inclusion. They each have different skills and abilities.  They each contribute and are included around the things they are good at, whether it be around food preparation, taking care of their home, or being part of community events. I have learned a lot from watching them gain independence and as a result I have grown both professionally and personally. They all work hard and do their best. I support and believe in young adults in the Comox Valley. It is through their Inclusion that we see Equality.

 

I am also a public speaker. I present and support about our Rights and Freedoms.  If I had to describe a vision for Inclusion for the Comox Valley I would start with my own personal story. When I first started as a Self Advocate I was 21 years old. In this time I have gotten the chance to travel, improve my ability to public speak and become comfortable around complete strangers. I have been inspired and pushed by those around me. I am thankful for CLBC and Vancouver Island Community Connections for giving me a chance to do this job. I have learned that recognizing personal strengths is both meaningful and inspirational. If I didn’t have support from friends and family or my girlfriend I can’t honestly say I would be where I am today.

 

I hope this story inspires and motivates you and brightens your day wherever you may be on your journey through life.

 

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