Former Board Members

Former Executive Director

Voices: Lillie Cannon

Testimony before the SC General Assembly’s Higher Education, Tech and Cultural Subcommittee of the Ways and Means Committee on January 31, 2007

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. My name is Lillie Cannon.

I am a young adult with a learning disability who needs your help.

When I graduated from Maplebrook High School and began looking for employment, I realized that I was different. I knew I would have to get more education. I did so well in high school. I was a hard worker and always did my homework. I was involved in sports activities as well as cheerleading and drama.

I remember being afraid of math. Math did not make sense to me … because I was being educated at a special needs high school. But I was able to accomplish so much, even in math. My math teach patiently showed me how math could be my friend. He changed my thinking in a way that I needed.

I came back from four years of high school in New York knowing that I would have to get more education. I looked into what was available for me and was disappointed that there was nothing.

Now I need more. When I graduated from high school, I was full of hope and confident that I would find a good job and succeed in life. After applying for many jobs, I had to realize that I needed more help.

Even though I work two days a week in a furniture store and have a natural knack for colors, design and settings for furniture, I could never really advance without more education. I know that I am a hard worker, polite and sociable but without added education, my gifts which God gave me might not be realized if I don’t have opportunities like everyone my age deserves and needs to be self sufficient.

I need more education. When I found out there might be a school for me and my special needs, I was so happy.

Being able to take care of myself and one day live on my own has been a goal of mine. I need a school that will help me realize how much I can be. I am afraid without special education at a higher level with the extra help I won’t be able to achieve me goals.

I don’t want to live my life depending on other people. I want to stand on my own two feet. If you could help by providing funds now, I wouldn’t be a burden on society or anyone. I want to be able to give back to my community. I can have self-respect and live with pride in myself.

Thank you for listening to me today and hope that with your help that I, Lillie Cannon, and others like me can make our lives the best they can be.

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