It all started on April 3rd, 2008 when 22 of you, our graduates, walked into NYWRAC’s 22nd Advocacy Training, hesitantly. Or is it all starting today, Jim and Elaine, fellow friends and guest, as we hold our head high with our graduates? Really? Yes. It starts with you!
For some of us it started some years ago when we were first brought to the Emergency Room and admitted into the hospital for “help”, and for others when we were children. Or was it when we realized what was really helpful?
It all started when hospital backwards were closed through photo essays in the 1970s and when the Westchester Inpatient Task Force dared to ask the question “Does abuse really happen?” in 1993 and found a way to get honest results to a questionnaire – we asked each other these questions in private groups without unwelcome overseers. Really?
Or, it started in 1994 when TEC received funding to create Dimensions and RAC which is now NYWRAC was formed. Or was it when we were given a chance to create something different. Really? It started with you.
It all started when we first talked to someone who could understand, maybe just a little of what you experienced because you know what it is like, or, was it when I, or, each one of you, reached out? Really? Everyone – It starts with you!
Or it started as we share stories and others connect to us and we take an action together? Or is it as we leave this room with new perspectives, relationships, and connections? Everyone – It starts with you!
It really starts each moment as we choose the gift of the present to grow and learn, to share and inspire.
You make a difference! You can make a difference!
From the difficult places I have been in my life and as a founder, current President and continuous supporter of TEC, representing both those you have been there before you and the current TEC Board of Directors, I step forward to thank you, our graduates and your supporters, our advocates and our supporters, TEC Directors and everyone who brings us here today. I apologize; momentarily I will have to leave to give a presentation at a Toastmasters International meeting.
It all starts as we step forward, to learn and change, stepping forward, learning and changing.
From the hard places we have come and the journeys we are on, from the new learning and changing, everyone here step forward because, it all starts with... (you!)