Hey, and Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends.
I hope you’ll write me some comments and tell me what you’re thankful for. What’s made a difference in your world this year?
I’m thankful for YOU. And I wouldn’t have had a chance to connect with so many of you if no one had cared to ask me what my own dream was.
So I’m thankful for being asked what my dream was.
And for the opportunity to build it.
Have you ever heard the story of how I was lucky enough to be asked to build this site — which was my dream as a younger kid?
Here’s how it all started….
In 2013 I went to a conference called the World Domination Summit. The WDS is a gathering of creative, unconventional people from around the world.
Being someone with ADHD is unconventional and, hey — I’m creative, right? So my mom thought it was a good place for us to go to. She hoped it might help me. I was 13 years old when we applied to go — and really struggling with my ADHD.
At that conference there were lots of grown ups talking about things they were struggling with and on stage how they overcame their challenges. Like Tess Vigeland who didn’t even have a job after being famous and Darren Rowse who is like the world’s best-known blogger, @ProBlogger. Darren came out in a superman costume and asked us all to tell someone our dream.
I had a dream too, but who asks a kid with ADHD what their dreams are?
The people at #WDS2013 did. And the following January they sent out an invitation to apply for a scholarship and asked this one big question…
“What amazing and meaningful thing do you want to do? Why do you want to do it?”
BANG! That got me. I had a dream and someone was asking me to do something about it.
My mom scribed what I said as I paced her office. I felt like I was on fire. “Did you get that?” Yes , she would say “Got it.” She took out the swear words and the put-downs and helped me say what I wanted it to say.
Here’s a peek at exactly what I wrote. It’s a long post, so be sure to read all the way down to the best question “ How will you know when you’ve succeeded?” Then please post me a comment and tell me how you think my team & I have done so far. (As well as telling me what you’re thankful for!)
My Real Application for the WDS Scholarship (most of it):
Hi my name is Jeff Rasmussen and I was at WDS last summer with my mom. I am 14 and in Grade 9 at Brookswood Secondary School in Langley BC.
My life sometimes has been a living h*ll because I have ADHD mostly because people don’t understand me. They think I’m bad but I’m not. They think I’m stupid but I’m not. (Actually my test scores they sent me to do says I’m smarter than most of my teachers) They think I don’t care about my homework but they are wrong.
They think I’m going to be a failure and I’m going to prove them wrong.
I want to build a website to improve the education standards for kids with ADHD . I want to have an online community for kids, parents and teachers to learn about ADHD/ADD and the ways to use their ADHD to their full potential. I want to help others understand kids with ADHD better.
I want to share other people’s successes who have ADHD and show kids how to make ADHD your friend and not your enemy.
Right now there are not a lot of places online where kids like me can learn strategies from other kids or adults with ADHD going through the same thing to cope with school and life.
I want to teach kids how to advocate for themselves at school and everywhere. I get bullied a lot by teachers and adults that don’t understand me. Then they make ME apologize! On the website I want to have interactive games, a forum, a live chat, and good education resources from the experts that know about and have good ideas about ADHD.
Here are two examples I found: http://www.playdhd.com/
But these are adults and not many kids know about them or you know.
If this site is up how will it help:
- Kids might feel relieved to know that they are not alone and that there are so many of us out here derping through life and it’s OK.
- We could change people’s opinions. I had once had a bad opinion of ADHD, I thought people with ADHD were supposed to be stupid! Now that been diagnosed I’ve been living with it, it’s like so much different. I respect kids with ADHD, especially the adults, who can get through their lives and live with ADHD.
- We could feature role models. There is a lack of role models for kids with ADHD.. I would like my site to feature cool people with ADHD so we have someone to look up to… and ideas for jobs.
- We could talk about work. Not being able to work is a big fear especially if you have it bad like I do, we need to talk about this together and come up with ideas for work so we can have good futures too.
- We could have cool strategies for helping like if you have never handed in your homework what you could do now to change that.
- We could have a database, with counselors, coaches, cool teachers that “get it” that can help.
Why: Because since I was 4 years old even though I am a really nice kind caring person I have been bullied by my teachers , other kids , school administrators, community leaders only trying to help and sometimes (except they get it now) before I was diagnosed, my own parents. ADHD is sad because it makes people mad at you all the time. Kids with ADHD are the most likely to do drugs because they are always in trouble and can never do anything good enough, and drugs sometimes calms their mind. Teachers don’t like kids with ADHD, they are annoying and harder to teach, I think if they understood us better and had some good tools the class would be better for them too.
What I need:
- Help build the site
- Teach me how to use WordPress and all the other tools so I can keep the site going after the scholarship.
- Teach me how to be a speaker, because toastmasters is boring for kids my age. Maybe find a mentor or expert that can help me get my message out to school administrator, teachers, counselors and other kids.
- Connect me with a bigger community (like at WDS) to help spread the word once the site is launched.
- Help me maybe write a book (except I have a written output disability and am having someone right now scribe my story).
How does your project incorporate the three core values of the World Domination Summit (Community, Adventure, Service)?
I am in a school that is a community that doesn’t understand me. When I joined scouts the leaders didn’t understand me and I had to quit. I have been excluded from my community. At WDS I felt included even though I was only 14. I was still me and people thought I was cool.
If the stats are right, then one out of 20 kids have ADHD and are excluded in some way from participating in their community because they are misunderstood. They are labeled bad, stupid or lazy. My website will shout out to the world that this is not true, that we just have ADHD and our brains are wired differently. My website will make the community understand and maybe care more.
For service I am doing this for every other kid that has been punished daily for having ADHD. I want them to know that it’s just ADHD and that they are not bad. I want us to find ways to deal with angry adults, and judging teachers that try to punish the ADHD out of us. We are different and we can’t help it. I want to connect people that can help with kids that need help.
I want to give kids a voice. Kids are online so if my site is cool then maybe they will want to go hang out there and chat about the crap they are dealing with. I think it would help them a lot.
How will the project involve and inspire others such as key stakeholders, resources and community members?
I want my ADHD online community web site to inspire kids with ADHD and to inspire teachers and parents to think different and be kinder to kids with ADHD.
I think if someone helps me they will feel good about making a difference and they will learn a lot about what it is like to have ADHD. I think a lot of adults have ADHD and they don’t know it but can relate to being bullied in school because they were different.
- How will the project involve and inspire others? Just because you grow up doesn’t mean your ADHD goes away. I know there has to be lots of adults that will think this is cool and wish they had help when they were kids. The first thing I want is a forum so we can talk about it and not be judged as much.
- Without a scholarship, how does the applicant intend to move forward on the proposed solution? I want to do it anyway and tried already…. It’s just I’m not good at WordPress yet and need to learn a lot to really get it built up. The scholarship and all the cool people who will know about it from WDS will help spread the word and make it popular to help more people.
How long will this project take to complete?
I already have a URL and started to make a site thinking I could do it by myself. Well that didn’t go so well because I don’t know how to use wordpress yet and there is way more to figure out than I first thought…. I’m willing to work hard to make this happen… it’s my dream to change the world for younger kids like me who are punished daily for having ADHD.
What are the major risks to your success, and how will you manage them?
Keeping me on task. Not getting bored like I do with schoolwork. I could get an ADHD coach.
I will find out what that costs and add it to my budget worksheet. Mostly when people have ADHD and they are working on something that they are passionate about they don’t get bored so I’m not too worried about this not getting done. I want to help kids that are different, especially when they can’t help it, because I know how they feel.
How will you know when you’ve succeeded?
My project will be a success when ONE kid my age realizes that he is not stupid or lazy that instead he or she just has a different brain style and that they can use their ADHD super powers to make the world a better place instead of being destroyed by it.
Just one kid, feeling better knowing that there is a whole lot of us with ADHD and that we are not bad, we are actually mostly smarter and more caring than people who don’t have ADHD.
My project will be a success when one mom or dad stops being angry at their kid for being messy or late or for not being able to do the dishes on time, instead knows what that kid needs to be successful and happy.
My project will be a success if one kid finds a cool job or a different path to finish school instead of being a dropout and a drug head.
My project will be a success if even one teacher reads a blog and for the first time “gets it” that punishment, humiliation and intimidation or sending a kid to the office for not doing their work is the worst thing they could do to help that kid.
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