Monday, May 16, 2011

Poet, Self Advocate: Julie Yeager

Julie's Poem
I think of birds growing. I think of rainbows after a good wet cry. When the sun finally decides to come out from under a pile of gray socks, nothing really matters. A sip of your milk and a thought comes to mind. A blink a stare and emotion closing your eyes to stop the world dreams come true when your spirit becomes a simple act of kindness: Lights beyond the stars in the sky bring me hope and luck for what I know that is true something I believe in is why I stand up to show that it is important to be heard. My poetry does not always need a theme or rhyme It requires a person who knows God’s grace and true meaning of souls connection to each other. A walk and a new poem comes to mind about the birds and the bees but as you know I know about the moon and stars shining over me. Do you know about everything I do I check out a shake or two when you come around. I know you drive me crazy Every day at work I try as hard as I can just ring up my number and I hear a voice I try to avoid it I talked to friends and now I wanna find angels singing I am waiting for my life to be shared and now it is complete. I started with birds growing and rainbows now I am ending with sunlight and smiles to be everywhere in your heart and by your side all day long.
Julie Yeager graduated in 2006. At the time, she was the first student in Sonoma County's Full Inclusion program to complete 12 years of education in the program at public schools.
Yeager was born with Down syndrome, but that didn't stop her from attending Cherry Valley School and moving on through Petaluma Junior High and Petaluma High.
She graduated with the rest of her class from Petaluma, receiving a certificate of completion in lieu of a diploma.
Despite a recent health setback that has put her in the hospital for several weeks battling a lung infection, Yeager is doing what all graduates aspire to do — living independently and working at a productive job.
“We're proud of her,” says her mother, Gail Yeager. “She has her own apartment and is a regular member of the westside community.”
What makes her even more special is her talent. Yeager is a prolific poet.
Her poems are free verse, but what they lack in appropriate punctuation, they more than make it for in heartfelt emotion.
“The poems are written in prose style. She puts her feelings out there,” explains her mother.

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