Meet Denise! She is a Brooklyn native and has been with the ARC program for 5 years. Denise is passionate about music and an active member of ARC’s music program. She sings and plays percussion, plus this year she started writing her own songs and raps.
But what makes Denise extra special? She is an admirable advocate for the Developmentally Disabled population in the Brooklyn community. Not only is she the Vice-President of her Center for Family Support, she leads monthly meetings within her living community and attends City Meetings with the goal to speak up for people who can’t speak up for themselves.
Denise helped her Family Center group design t-shirts for the July 14 Disabilities Pride Parade. The Pride Parade is an important moment for the city to show inclusion, support and awareness of people with disabilities.
We asked Denise what her main motivations are and she told us that her goal is to increase people’s respect for each other.
“Sometimes people take advantage of those who can’t speak up for themselves. I see it every day around me. It’s not fair how ones with disabilities are being treated. Even though you have a disability you are a person and you still have feelings.”
We totally agree, Denise! That’s why ARC is so passionate about Respect; in fact it is built into our name: Affirm, Respect, Connect.
We also asked Denise what she loves most about ARC and what she’s looking forward to in the upcoming months. Her favorite part about ARC is that she gets to socialize with her friends through our events and activities such as the block parties, holiday parties and our amazing music program. She also enjoyed the July and August fun days when we attended a baseball game and a local museum.
Lastly, we’ll leave you with some wise advice from Denise:
“Don’t be afraid to speak up for yourself or speak up for others because there’s some people with disabilities that cannot speak up for themselves. If they can’t speak up for themselves try to help them in any way you can.”