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Give Children A Voice

 Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.” – LaVita Rodriquez

LaVita Rodriquez and I met at the Library of Congress in DC where I was doing research recently. She caught my attention as I descended the marble steps leading to the main floor rotunda below. This woman had an aura of elegance, peace, and poise that stood out in the sea of faces.

I knew in that instant she had a story.

Anyone who knows me is aware my curiosity and love of people have never stopped me from finding a way to get a story. And share it.

LaVita’s life dramatically changed course when she was paralyzed in a car accident in 2008 at the age of 23. The nurses and doctors who saved her life led to what she calls “a second chance” to both give back and focus on changing children’s lives through the law.

It turns out this was her 1st trip traveling alone to learn more about our nation’s epicenter of democracy and to look at law schools including Georgetown and Catholic University of America. She was laser-focused on her life’s goal; to attend law school to “give children a voice” as a human rights, family, and healthcare attorney.

She currently is an advocate for abused, abandoned and neglected children in Tampa, Fla. through Guardian ad Litem. As a volunteer, LaVita is so much more to a child than just their court advocate. She has become a role model, mentor, educational surrogate, friend, confident, and most important, a consistent caring person on whom the child can rely.

“To the world you are one person, but to one person you are the world.”

Hopefully, her story will touch your heart, inspire you to use adversity as your advantage and perhaps help to reframe how you think of a disability to being “abled differently”.

Writing this was a joy because LaVita and I are now bonded together in our core values and friendship.

Be good to yourself,

René Delane

 

 

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3 Steps To Courage

Vulnerability is our most accurate measure of courage.” 

-Berné Brown

Courage is all around us. It is found in everyday people who step our of their comfort zone and share that they are LGBT or stand up to a bully or refuse to conform to those who want you to be like them, vote like them, dress like them.

So, why is it hard to step our of our comfort zone? Because we are afraid to take off our mask and display the courage it takes to be different, act different and believe differently. It takes inner courage to be vulnerable… to be yourself by trusting in your heart and your smarts… to simply trust your gut.

But what of the courage of these everyday women, men and children who never makes the news and do not seek celebrity? What of their courage in the face of pain and fear?

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