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Dare To Dream Conference was a total success!

Hey everyone! It was such a thrill getting to speak at and take part in the Dare To Dream Student Leadership Conference on Monday at Rutgers University. That is me above speaking, and I had such a blast! There were so many people there, including students, teachers and parents.

It was great of the New Jersey Center for Tourette Syndrome and the New Jersey Department of Education to put this event on. I am so thankful to them and want to make sure they know it!

I got to introduce the panel of speakers and speak a little bit myself, both in the beginning and at the end during the open mic session. Here is a little bit of what I shared:

As I was growing up, I’m not gonna lie, I remember days where my tics were so bad that I would be on the floor crying all day. My parents are incredible, they’ve always helped me through everything. My mom would hold me during those times and tell me everything is going to be OK. Some days I would be so exhausted that I would just lay in my bed and hope to God that everything would be OK.

Kids would stare at me, and that’s what got me the most. They were judging me, and they didn’t even know me. That’s what they thought of me in their heads. I thought it wasn’t going to get better, but it did. I went from my tics controlling me to me controlling my tics.

I still have days where I get frustrated, but now I’m able to calm myself down. Even if you break down every single time, it’s OK – it makes you stronger. Eventually, there will be that one time where you won’t break down because you will be strong.

That’s just a little bit of my story. There is so much more, and I am so blessed to be a college student now at Montclair State University — just finished my freshman year! I hope any of you who attended the conference got as much out of it as I did.

And I hope that those of you who didn’t got a little taste of what it was like from reading my post. Just remember: Nothing is impossible for anyone, whether you have Tourette Syndrome, OCD or some other disorder. You have everything you need within you to succeed. Now go show the world!

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KatieD

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