Monday, June 2, 2014

I'm Taking a Stand to Make My Difference in the World

by Lauren Potter from the Huffington Post:
I'm Lauren Potter. I'm just a 24-year-old girl who is working hard to live my dreams and make my difference in the world.
In order to do that, I've had to face challenges. Sometimes even seemingly simple things, like walking and talking, have been a challenge. But I never let that stop me. I have always continued to dream big and to fight hard to pursue those dreams.
When I was young, my dream was to be an actress. Sure people told me I'd never be able to do it, but I replied, "Just watch me!" Now they are watching me, but this time on the big screen. I filmed my first movie when I was 16 years old, and I am currently an actress on Fox's hit TV show Glee that just celebrated its 100th episode.
As a girl who has accomplished things that many didn't think were possible, I know that people can be wrong when they judge someone else just because they are different. We are all different. And that isn't bad, it's just, well, different!
Because of Glee I have been given a chance to pursue another dream of mine -- to make the world a more welcoming place for people who are different -- especially for people like me who have always been told "you can't" instead of "you can." I want to live in a world where everyone can live, go to school and go to work without having to be afraid. Afraid of being judged, afraid of being bullied or cyber-bullied. Afraid of new things. Afraid of failure. Afraid of dreaming. In fact, I want to live in a world where people are actually celebrated for their differences, just as I celebrate mine!
Do you want to live in that world? Do you want to join me in "being the change"?
I believe we can be the generation that makes it happen! That's why I'm taking a stand for acceptance and inclusion. And I'm hoping that everyone will join me.
Special Olympics is an organization that celebrates differences and gives people of all abilities the chance to be a champion and a star. At the Special Olympics World Games Los Angeles 2015, the whole world will have a chance to show that they too stand up for acceptance and inclusion of all people by celebrating the joy, courage and determination of the 7,000 athletes who will participate. I am so proud and honored to be a part of this wonderful mission as a World Games Ambassador. I will continue to cheer on the athletes and stand with them as we tell those who still may say or think we can't do it, "Just watch me!"
This post is part of a series produced by The Huffington Post and the Special Olympics World Games in conjunction with the Take a Stand campaign leading up to the 2015 World Games that will take place in Los Angeles. To read all posts in the series, visit here. Learn more about the Special Olympics World Games, Los Angeles 2015 here.
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