Richmond Style does quite a few "The Top... fill in the blank" (Executive Women in Richmond...30 Artists under Age 30...Powerful People...etc.) Sheena nominated Hannah for "16 Under 16 Who Make a Difference".
From Style: "All 16 of these outstanding young people give deeply of themselves: They raise funds for charities, mentor others, and volunteer for causes they're passionate about. They remind us that success isn't just about trophies and grades, but about helping people who need it."
When Sheena told me she nominated Hannah I was really surprised. I mean, I have a mommy's heart, and think my kid is pretty cool. One of several hundred million cool kids. I didn't really expect somebody else to think Hannah is as fabulous as I think she is.
I was stunned when I read Sheena's nomination:
- Swimming lessons
- Piano lessons (where she performs concerts for audiences)
- Art classes
- A member of Chesterfield Home school Sports (soccer, bowling, softball)
- VIVO with Da Capo Virginia--a music class for individuals with disabilities
- Signing Hands (a sign language choir) with SPARC
- Modern Movement (modern dance) with SPARC
As one of Hannah’s dance teachers, I have witnessed her hard work in class. She is the student who reminds her classmates to stop talking while the teacher is talking; the student who checks the line up to assure the dancers are in the correct spot. She knows her counts, and her staging for every performance. She always has a joke to share with the class, and she would always spread positive energy.
Hannah was born in 1998 with Down syndrome. Our society will always label Hannah as such, as if that is her only identity. So my reason for nominating Hannah is simple: She proves the world wrong every single day by showing witness after witness what she is capable of, instead of limiting herself to what the world thinks she isn’t able to do. Hannah helped me raise $1,300 for the Special Olympics of Virginia. She taught me how to make homemade sugar cookies. She has performed on Landmark Theater’s stage. She taught me how to build a bird house. She works hard where working hard is a requirement.
Hannah serves as an example for children with and without disabilities.
Hannah is: A daughter, a sister, a student, a friend, a community activist, a fundraiser, an athlete, a pianist, a dancer, a swimmer, a pet lover, a baker. She accepts every challenge that is thrown her way, and she perseveres with grace and beauty. She shows the world that there is so much life to live... if we would just believe it’s possible!
- Regina Hughes is her piano teacher (4 years)
- Kelly Cleary is her swim teacher (2 years)
- Heidi Thurmond is her VIVO teacher (2 years)
- Adult friends who correspond and help Hannah learn how to use the telephone and email (Suzanne Mummert, Marguerite Harbachewski)
- Her pediatrician, Dr. Patricia Mulreany
For More Information: http://hannigans.blogspot.com/
Are we agreed that Sheena is amazing?
With a write-up like that, I guess I'd put Nan on the "yes" side of the paper. And so did the editors.
We are very proud of who Hannah is becoming.
(A picture of Hannah's article (minus our last name...) from Style Weekly! They only released it as a PDF and I couldn't figure out how to get Blogger to let me post it. Click to enlarge it.)
p.s. I feel kinda like I'm just bragging in this post; I'm not quite comfortable with it.
There is one part of Sheena's nomination that I think is the most important:
"Hannah" proves the world wrong every single day by showing witness after witness what she is capable of, instead of limiting herself to what the world thinks she isn’t able to do.
This is what the general population needs to understand about people with Down syndrome and/or other challenges.