On March 15th, 2018, we are hosting our annual Life Without Limits Gala. Year after year, we use the evening as a platform to celebrate the success of BC’s disability community and fundraise for a cause that is truly bigger than all of us.
By attending our event or supporting the gala, you’ll be making an immense difference for people with cerebral palsy and other disabilities. Proceeds of the Life Without Limits Gala will raise critical funds for our programs and services, including the Tanabe Bursary. This financial assistance program supports students with cerebral palsy to attend a post-secondary institution of their choice.
Meet the speakers: Nathan Bragg
24-year old Nathan Bragg recently started his position as a Communications Coordinator at the BC Wheelchair Sports Association. For him, it has become a great way to match his background in journalism and communications with his passion for sports. The four-time Tanabe Bursary recipient graduated from Carleton University with a combined honours degree in Journalism and Communications.
The Tanabe Bursary has significantly helped Nathan to pursue his degree at Carleton University. Initially, he had spent the bursary on textbooks he needed for class. Later on in his academic career, he used it to purchase different equipment required for his Journalism degree, which included a microphone, recorder and computer software. Nathan explains that the Tanabe Bursary allowed him to experiment with different facets of journalism, and alleviated a great deal of financial burden from him and his family.
“Time is what you make of it. It is what you make of that experience,” says Nathan.
From the moment Nathan began university, he knew he wanted to get involved and be immersed in the community. “I didn’t want to be the type of person who just studied, I wanted to get connected.” To Nathan, this meant taking advantage of the opportunities and resources available, and finding ways to apply his skill set. At university, he was a coordinator at the Carleton Disability Awareness Centre, where he organized disability awareness events for students such as comedy nights and sports events. He also managed a fundraiser that raised an impressive $4,500 towards the purchase of adaptive fitness equipment for the Carleton University gym.
Nathan says the most memorable part of his post-secondary career was being able to meet many talented and driven individuals. Aside from Nathan’s parents, who have been very supportive throughout his educational endeavors, Nathan’s friends have also played a big role in his personal development. “I had friends who were supportive both emotionally and physically, whether it was helping me get around in a middle of a snowstorm or helping me get to class,” says Nathan.
Despite having a strong support system, Nathan’s academic achievements did not come easy. Cerebral palsy has not only affected Nathan ability to walk, but also his ability to write and type effectively – which made journalism more difficult for him. However, Nathan overcame this obstacle by learning how to manage his time efficiently; and he urges other students to do the same. He explains, “In school the schedule is really up to you and you have much more free time, but in the working world it is different with pressing deadlines. I’ve learned to time manage and give myself enough time to accomplish tasks – at a high level and in time.”
To people dealing with special needs and disability, Nathan says, “You shouldn’t be letting others put limits on you, and you should not set limits on yourself.” “People always tell us what we can’t do, but there are so many things we can do. Focus on the things you can do.”