Big brother and college program help differently abled student achieve his dream

[ Music ]>>My brother, to me, is just awesome. Right? I think if I wanted to be like
anybody, it would be to be like him. He’s just an exceptional human being, and
I’m glad that he took the time to care and to say that, you know, I’m proud of you. You know, I want you to do
this, I want you to do well, and I’m going to give you
all that I can give you. You know? And he did! He gave me the best of his knowledge, the
best of his experience, and I used that, and look where it got me, it got me, you
know, to convocation, it got me honors, it, it got me [inaudible], it’s, you know,
because he told me to always push. You know, and for that, he, he’s
a tremendous motivator for that. Just for doing that, I’ll
always be grateful to him. He’s a wonderful person.>>The reason why I helped Stefan
is because he’s my brother. We grew up in the hospital. So, I think I more, know more doctors than
children, because every day after school, Stefan has an appointment, Stefan has this, Stefan has physiotherapy,
it’s been an education. It’s a lifelong education. He’s always teaching us something. And he teaches you how to be humble, grateful,
thankful, and overall just love people. When we finished high school, university was
the next step that was for me and my sister. Now with Stefan, we were
like, okay, what happens? What we heard was, that’s it. There’s nothing after high school. So, you’re in a household that is bred
with people that are education-focussed, and now you’re told that
you can’t do anything after. It’s heartbreaking for us, but in Stefan’s
mind, I cannot explain what that is.>>I felt because I had a
learning difference, you know, that I would never have an opportunity. No one would want to have
the gifts I wanted to give. But luckily this program has given me
the opportunity to share all the wisdom and knowledge I know I have, and it’s allowed
me to not only better myself, but better others. And form so many wonderful relationships
and I’m so thankful for that.>>[Applause] Stefan [inaudible]. [ Applause ] [ Music ]>>He’s not only been an exceptional peer, but also a first-rate student receiving
dean’s honors throughout this program. It gives me great pleasure to be here tonight
congratulating Stefan Omar [inaudible]. [ Cheering & Applause ]>>Being a part of a CIC program,
all of the students are exceptional. They’re all wonderful students, but
Stefan stood out from the very beginning, from the very first interview that he came with
us, I could tell that this person was going to make a change in our school, in
our community, and in our program. Stefan surpassed our expectations as a student. He supported students all across campus, and he did it in such a humble
way, such a passionate way. His goal was to become a self-advocate, to
be a voice for people with disabilities, and he did it, and he’s still doing it,
and he’s going to have a wonderful future. I get to see the change in not only the
students that I support, in the program, but I see the change in the
community, the college community, and how much they’ve changed
and embraced our students. How much they’ve learnt from our students, and
they’re going to go out and be better citizens and better employees and employers
and support people with disabilities in such a respectful way, and that’s huge to me.>>So if any, if I’m going to give
any advice to any of these students, is that if you have courage, if you
have perseverance, hold on to it, and hold on to your faith, because those
are the three keys that’ll take you through. Always. [ Music ]

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