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Yes I Can!

The Yes I Can! Awards honor students with disabilities who excel. These awards celebrate the achievements of children and youth with disabilities; encourage these individuals to seek their highest potential; and increase public awareness of the abilities, aspirations, and personal qualities of those with disabilities.

Nomination packets for Yes I Can! coming soon!

 

2022 Yes I Can! Winners:

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Nicholas Donovan (Nick), is a 2021 graduate from Belleville High School, Belleville. 
He is the 2022 “Yes I Can” winner in the area of Self Advocacy.

When Nick was very young, he was diagnosed with a rare vision condition known as Coloboma. He began to receive special education services for students with severe visual impairments. Nick was unsure if the little vision he had was ever going to worsen. He was taught Orientation and Mobility skills including how to use a white cane, Braille, Assistive Technology and how to use Low Vision devices. One of the largest challenges Nick faced was building his self-confidence.

After years in the classroom for the visually impaired, Nick increased his skills needed to accommodate for his vision loss and was able to return to his home district. Nick’s accomplishment occurred not only in his school but in all aspects of his life. He was able to attend camps and programs for students with visual impairments that allowed him to have experiences he may never have had. He was chosen to participate in a leadership training to become a camp counselor.

He never let his vision stop him from doing well in school and accomplishing his dream of going to a 4-year University. He participated in extracurricular events on the Belleville Track and Cross-Country teams and a part time job while maintaining high grades in high school. 

Nick says that the biggest reason why he has been able to overcome his challenges is because of the support of his family. They have always pushed him to be the best that he can be. They have never let him blame his visual impairment for why he couldn’t accomplish something. His vision is one of the reasons why he is always striving to be a leader.

Despite the struggles Nick faced, he never let his vision get in the way of his success. He graduated from Belleville High School, with a 3.88 GPA. He is now attending Michigan State University. 

 

 

 

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Jaiden Lutes is a student with Autism who attends special education classes for his core academics and general education classes for his electives. He’s currently enrolled in an art class and attends art club. 

Jaiden uses his art talent to cope with how he is feeling; he draws the characters that represent his feelings. Jaiden is very aware of his disability; he says that “He’s silly like Mario, sweet like Mickey, and Autistic like Sponge Bob.” He is a young man who works so hard to grow his abilities and does not let anything get in his way. He is incredibly talented and dedicated student who is willing to continue to push himself and learn new things. 

Jaiden is incredibly proud of his drawings and uses them to explain his disability. He also uses his talent to get involved in school activities such as helping the sophomore class paint the windows for spirit week! Jaiden’s ultimate goal is to use his artwork in films.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last Updated:  23 December, 2021

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