My name is Danielle Carter, I am 18 years old. I have Tourettes Syndrome. I was diagnosed when I was only 4 years old. My life with Tourettes was not an easy feat. I dealt with a lot of physical and verbal tics and went through years of bullying because of it. I also struggle with severe anxiety due to my Tourettes. I had an extremely hard time in elementary school due to some extreme separation anxiety. This got so bad that I had to be homeschooled for 1st and 2nd grade. During this time, my family and I worked with the Tourettes Syndrome Association to find options that could help me. Eventually, l was brave enough to go to school again in 3rd grade. My family and I decided it would a fantastic idea to teach all my classmates about my Tourettes. So we made a presentation about it that I shared each year. I used a lot of the information learned from TSA. This opportunity really helped me learn to be an advocate for myself.
Volunteering with TSA has given me some amazing opportunities that have helped me become who I am today. My parents walked in a few of the 5k races to raise money and awareness for TSA. Then one year we were asked to help pass out medals at the finish line of a marathon. We did this as a family and I got to met James Wolk the lead actor in the movie Front of The Class. This was a story that inspired me to be strong enough to not let my Tourettes stop me from living my life and following my dreams. The movie helped inspire me to want to become a teacher myself (that and my love for history). I am now a senior in high school and starting the process of choosing a college where I will study how to become a teacher. As I look back over the last 14-15 years it is amazing how far I have come and I am thankful for all I learned from my involvement in TSA. I believe I deserve this scholarship because I have worked very hard to be able to go to school after working through all my separation anxieties. Also, I feel Tourettes has made me a better and stronger person.