Why I Want to be a “Reaching for the Stars” CP Kids Coalition Ambassador

RFTSbaby_with_bannerOne of the best things about volunteering for Reaching for the Stars are the amazing families and amazing children we get the opportunity to serve and come to know.  Since we launched our Reaching for the Stars CP Kids Coalition Ambassador program, we have been humbled by the inspiring kids who have joined.  Before joining each CP Kids Coalition Ambassador told us why they want to be involved and their enthusiasm is contagious!

We just received the following outstanding essay from a high school junior who interestingly does NOT have Cerebral Palsy.  We were quite blown away by Risha’s maturity and perspective and thought you would be as well when you read what she has to say.

Our future is bright with young Americans like Risha and our other CP Kids Coalition Ambassadors wanting to make a difference.  We are so impressed!  You’ll be hearing lots more from Risha and our other CP Kids Coalition Ambassadors in the coming months.

Let us know what you think on Twitter.   If you are interested in learning more about our CP Kids Coalition please click here.

We also want to let you know that we are in the process of revamping our Facebook page with the help of our new community engagement manager.  We will be introducing our new page to you soon. Exciting times!!


Why I Want to be a “Reaching for the Stars” CP Kids Coalition Ambassador

August 22, 2013,  By Risha Parikh, 11th grade

CP Kid’s Coalition Risha Parikh

By Risha Parikh

When people think of a group of people lobbying for certain rights, they do not visualize a faction of youth blogging, participating in panels with professional advisors, fundraising through lemonade stands, or arguing their opinions in front of Congress.  I, a proud American high school junior residing Johns Creek, Georgia, would like to change that conception. I believe that young people not only have the power to make a huge impact towards solving the issues they care about, but also a duty to do so. If we want a better future we must strive to achieve it.

However, children with Cerebral Palsy are often overlooked in people’s efforts, as there is very little funding available for CP research. I first got interested in this group of kidscause when, while researching psychatrist Sigmund Freud for a project, I stumbled upon his findings on CP: that it may have been caused by factors before birth. Intrigued, I decided to research more on the disease, and I realized that it wasn’t a disease; it was a disorder that came in many different types. I realized that if I had these misconceptions about CP, then a lot of people probably did!

After reading magazine articles about brave individuals with CP achieve great things, I became so inspired that I wanted to do something to help. However, I wasn’t photo lauren lemon aide motherdaughter j.christpherssure how until I came across an article in The Hub about Lauren Walier’s ingenious Lemon Aide campaign, which led me to Reaching for the Star’s website.

I may not know anyone personally with CP, but when I get invested in something, I get pretty invested.  After watching and reading many articles and videos about people with CP, I just know that I want to help people with the condition find a cure or at least a better way of life, and make sure CP is widely known about. I have many skills that can help your organization, such as good leadership (I am a member of my city’s student leadership committee), punctuality, great organization and business skills, and straight-A’s on my report card. Most of all, I have a passion to serve and get the word out for this “forgotten disability.”