Sunday, August 30, 2009

Article about Amy's speaking event in Michigan last week

There was an article about Amy's speaking event in Michigan for 'Michigan Works'. She makes some great points about people with insecurities.

By Kurt Hauglie, DMG Writer

HOUGHTON - As a little person, Amy Roloff has faced challenges throughout her life, many of which she successfully met, and now she uses the experiences of those challenges to inspire other people, which was her intention Monday.

Roloff, who was the guest speaker at the Michigan Works! 2009 summer awards dinner at the Best Western Franklin Square Inn in Houghton, said although growing up as a dwarf was at times difficult, there was a moment when she decided those difficulties shouldn't hold her back.

"I thought, 'What kind of impact am I going to have?'" she said. "There's a world out there. There's something I can do."

Attending CMU, Roloff said she became aware her roommates weren't connecting with her because she wouldn't open up and talk about herself, which was an affect of her insecurities about her stature.

Because of that experience, Roloff said she decided not to let other people's prejudice define her.

"I can't get hung up on what people think unless I'm willing to educate," she said.

Roloff said she used to think if she didn't get a job she applied for or accepted for some other position, it was because of her size. Although that probably was true in some cases, she came to realize in other cases she just wasn't sufficiently qualified for the position.

Roloff said also during college, she attended her first Little People of America conference and realized within the little people community there was a great range of sizes, abilities and races of people sharing similar experiences.

"I began to be comfortable as I was," she said.

Marriage and parenthood strengthened that self-assurance, Roloff said.

Roloff said although she still faces challenges because of her stature, her successes have made her feel more secure than she did growing up.

"My greatest challenge and success was my disability," she said. "My disability is not what defines me. It's a part of me."

Speaking directly to the award winners, Roloff said she was impressed by their accomplishments in the Michigan Works! program.

"Obviously, you're here because of outstanding character," she said. "You have been given an opportunity, but it was you who did what you did."

Read the complete article at the link below:

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