Thursday, December 22, 2011

Jazzy Holman doesn’t let disability stop her

from Daily Herald:

Jazzy Holman is a typical 18-year-old girl with a busy schedule of activities and social life, and she does it all with Down syndrome. Some of Holman's activities include student council, where she is the president of the spirit club, and the school musical, and she participated in the Highland Junior Miss Pageant where she won the "spirit of Junior Miss" award.

Pam Holman, Holman's mother, is proud of her determination.

"She is so inspiring to others," she said. "She has to try so hard. In Jazzy's Junior Miss speech she said, 'I was born with Down syndrome. That means that I have to try harder than most people. I have learned that if I try my very best and get a little help from family and friends, that I can accomplish almost anything,' and she really can. With a little bit of help, there's not much she can't do."

Recently a letter was written by Julie Patterson to the Lone Peak High School administration.

Patterson took her family to Lone Peak's production of "Beauty and the Beast," in which Holman performed. Not only was Patterson impressed with the production but she was also impressed with Holman's participation and how the students interacted with her.

"Kudos to Mr. Jim Smith and his students for not letting Jasmine Holman's disability get in the way of the things she wants to accomplish," she wrote. "It was so touching to watch the actors nearest Jasmine keep an arm around her or help lead her. Jasmine was singing the songs and doing the choreography along with the rest of the cast. It was a good learning experience for my children."

Gary Dunn, student council adviser, also feels that having Holman and other students with disabilities participate in school activities is important.

"All the kids benefit from these students participating," he said. "They are capable of participating and the students who assist them learn responsibility."

Holman has been pleased with her time at Lone Peak.

"Everybody is nice to me," she said. "I like my friends, my classes, and I like having lunch with my friends. It is so fun to be in the student council and the play because I get to do a lot of activities, learn songs and dance."

Holman's mother is touched by the way the students at Lone Peak have treated her daughter.
"The students are outstanding with her," she said. "They treat her like she is this little celebrity. Everyone knows her and the kids really do treat her well and try hard to include her."

Tim Pead, a life skills instructor, is inspired by working with Holman and the other life skills students.

"They are amazing kids," he said. "They show us how difficult life can get but they push themselves. It has been really good to work with them.

"These kids are the best friends you could have. They are loyal, and when the students work with them they learn hard work and that you can overcome any obstacles you have in your life."

Holman is not allowing her obstacles to slow her down any time soon. She has been asked to perform her talent and to speak about "being your best self" for the Junior Miss State Pageant in January.

Holman's mother is certain Jazzy will continue to keep busy.

"She wants to do everything," she said. "She tries really hard and has a great desire to be involved and do everything everyone else does."

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