- Posted September 20, 2013 by
INNERview: Every Part of Life Counts
INNERview with Self-Advocate Tony Piontek on HAVE YA HEARD
YVONNE PIERRE: What inspired you to be become a self –advocate?
TONY PIONTEK: The inspiration started when I did my first Special Olympics speech I knew I had the determination, respect and dignity to be someone to represent everyone else who couldn’t speak. “I knew I had this in me” The gift of public speaking gave me the sense of pride and joy to full fill the eagerness to purse this long term goal.
YVONNE: What is the most rewarding part of being a self-advocate?
TONY: As a Self-Advocate I knew I was a voice for them and the freedom to speak and what they’re thinking, too. This is very first act.we start doing for them. It’s the ability to represent many people who aren’t able to. It’s also to trust, to be loyal and to be friends to all. It’ also captures the attention of any audience that’s going to hear me in being creative and out going.
YVONNE: You’re a photographer. How old were you when you revitalized you had passion for photography?
TONY: I was 10 when I knew this was my passion to be a photographer. “I knew there was a calling to give back to my Church and what I love to do” Also the ideas came to mind when I was H.S. at our Career Day.
YVONNE: What have been some of the biggest challenges for you and how did you overcome them?
TONY: To be loved by and to be accepted by others around us. By students and teachers, too. School, peer pressure, studying and tests. Hardest thing was being used by others who were and weren’t friends. I over came this with patience, respect and understand where we’re coming from IF you were in our shoes. Misunderstanding the needs we can meet in living and working independently. Having the fairness and and to be treated equally in social and real life experiences.
Read this INNERview in it's entirety at http://hyhonline.wordpress.com/2012/10/11/every-part-of-life-counts