April 9, 2015 – It was on a Wednesday a few minutes after five o’clock in the afternoon. I was just about to shut off my computer when the ring of a new email arriving went off. It had been a long day, and one that I was excited to see coming to an end. I contemplated for a minute whether or not I would read one more email before walking out of the office. With a deep sigh I clicked on the message, and, about two minutes later, was sitting in complete silence with watered eyes and a feeling of knowing that now was not the time to grow weary or give up.
The email was from an extremely professional young woman, named Maddy, who is a senior in high school, and was inspired that I had started a company which educates communities about individuals with special needs. She ended her email stating that she had attached her resume and an essay she wrote, and that she would like to meet me in person. I already knew before I read her resume or essay that I would agree to meet with her. Since my mid 20s, I’ve had a rule that I would meet with just about anyone who ever asked for a meeting. Although this can spread you very thin, I’ve had some amazing leaders, including record label executives, T.V. and radio personalities and CEOs of large companies, who have allowed me to meet with them. Many of these people have become great friends, and we still talk and joke about the time I approached them at a concert, sent them flowers or walked up to them in a crowded room, shook their hand and basically begged them to meet with me. Because of the opportunities they gave me, meeting with people who ask to meet with me has become my way of trying to pay it forward.
I clicked on Maddy’s essay, titled “Never Give Up”, and, after reading the first sentence, she had me, and I knew Maddy was about to become an important part of my life. “First of all I am not looking for any sympathy what so ever; this is what I want people to understand about me. I want people to know me as a person who has given back to my community and is not prejudged because of the way I walk or talk.” I did not read Maddy’s resume before we met because, in all honesty, it did not matter after I read her essay. A week later, Maddy and I were sitting at a restaurant, meeting for the first time. I was blown away by her professional demeanor, and, as she told me why she wanted to work with me and what I could teach her, all I could think about was the things she was going to end up teaching me. Maddy has qualities that some people never acquire in their lifetime. Her courage, strength and “never give up” attitude are undeniable.
It is now my pleasure to introduce the world to Maddy, the newest employee of Special Needs Communities.
Special Needs Communities is a social enterprise focused on uniting communities and creating environments where everyone, regardless of their abilities, is treated with love and acceptance.
For additional information on the Special Needs Communities, please visit www.specialneedscommunities.com.
Media Representatives: To learn more about Special Needs Communities, email firstname.lastname@example.org