Photo of Sarah, an individual that shared her success story with ISK.

“I Have Big Dreams”

Advocacy work drives this energetic activist

Sarah exudes positivity and a sense of humor. Her smile and laugh light up any room she enters, reflecting her can-do attitude. That’s what propels her to pursue a dream of making life better for people through self-advocacy. Sarah is proud of serving on the boards of Self Advocates Becoming Empowered and Self-Advocates of Michigan, organizations made up of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities who advocate for independence, inclusion, freedom, opportunity, respect, and dignity. Their goal is to empower people with developmental disabilities to take ownership of their lives and make their own choices on how to live fully.

Sarah is proud of her advocacy work and also her service on the boards of ISK, The Arc Community Advocates, and the Kalamazoo-Area League of Women Voters. She believes her advocacy skills and willingness to try/do things are her greatest strengths. “I was always called an over-achiever, but really I have big dreams,” Sarah says.

Keeping up with so many commitments can be a challenge, but Sarah gets support from ISK staff, community members, and fellow board members. ISK has also helped her access healthcare, practice self-care, and stay well.

Sarah’s advice to anyone hoping to achieve a dream like hers is simple and straightforward: “Keep trying until you achieve it. Even if you feel like giving up, keep trying and plug away.” It’s certainly worked for her –– and she can be proud that her perseverance is helping other people with disabilities throughout Michigan achieve their dreams, too!