“Although I am a volunteer for the group, I feel like the participants have taught me so much. Through their stories, the participants have educated me about what it means to have a disability,” says Jalisa Karim, about the Cerebral Palsy Association of BC Youth Without Limits support group. The high school student has been volunteering with Youth Without Limits for over a year.
Youth Without Limits co-facilitator Lauren Stinson heaps high praise on the teenager. “She has positive energy, is dedicated and committed to the group since she’s been here since the start and comes regularly.”
Joining an Open Community
Jalisa believes the group provides useful information to participants through workshops ranging from finding housing with a disability, to sex and disability. “Although I can’t speak for them, I feel like a big part of being a participant is having a safe community to connect with.”
She points out that often it is difficult to share with people who haven’t experienced something similar. “You will have a group of people who you can feel comfortable with, and it is a space free of judgment,” she says.
Seventeen-year-old Jalisa started volunteering with Youth Without Limits because she likes to give back to the community and finds it rewarding. She has a desire to pursue medicine, and feels it is important for a doctor to understand more than just the physical aspect of disabilities.
Jalisa believes that programs such as Youth Without Limits are important to promote inclusion amongst people with disabilities. It illustrates to participants that they are accepted, that they have access to a strong support system and they aren’t alone in their experiences.
CPABC is glad Jalisa is enjoying her experience contributing to the overall physical and mental well-being of youth with disabilities. You will make a great doctor, Jalisa!