I’m sorry to see my summer ending. I really had a lot of fun. I loved working at the Coast Guard and programming the project management dashboard. I learned a lot about Flash, Actionscript and Java, and my supervisors, Wes Wallace and Tom Estes, both seem impressed with my work. I really got into this project and continued to work outside of office hours and into the night. I feel it has ignited in me a new passion for programming, and I hope that I will be able to integrate this passion into my future career.
It was also a great learning experience to just be around my fellow interns, who posses such a diverse array of disabilities. Despite our differences, we all got along very well and shared our lives with each other as young people with disabilities. I’ve learned to appreciate not just the different challenges we all face, but also the unique cultures that revolve around and stem from each disability. I heard that Leah gave a great presentation on deaf culture, although I am sorry that I had to miss it to have dinner with my mentor. But living and exploring Washington with my fellow interns has taught me a lot about our differences and commonalities.
Of course, I am eternally grateful to David, Alana, and the rest of AAPD. Before this summer, I have often felt alone, as though I were the only one who was different and needed extra help and accommodations. But it’s great to now know how large the disabled community really is and how such a powerful lobbying group represents us in Washington. Thank you so much.