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Equality Journalist of the Year: Winner

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Isabella, Excel Academy, UK

My sister penny is 11 years old and she has a rare genetic condition called Angelman syndrome. This means she has trouble walking and taking care of herself and it effects how she understands the world around her, she can not speak and she has Epilepsy. Penny has faced a lot of challenges in her life but she is so strong and determined and she always has a smile on her face no matter what life brings. She is an amazing sister and she spreads laughter and joy around the house like glitter, she has given me inspiration to become a special needs teaching assistant and I am so proud of her. The reason why I wanted to introduce my sister Penny is to show that even if people are different love always follows and to raise awareness of inclusivity and equality. Equality and inclusivity to me mean to provide equal access to opportunities and resources for people that might otherwise be excluded.

When myself and my family go out to the shops sometimes Penny has to wait outside because the isles in the shop are too narrow or the product display’s are put in the middle of the isle making it impossible to get her wheelchair down. I also think that people need to be more patient and show understanding to someone who may have a different ability and remember that not every disability can be seen for example if a person is taking a long time to do something ask if they need help rather then getting annoyed or staring. Show kindness and spread love like penny does.

I don’t think Penny or anyone else that is different should be made to feel less of a person or be made to feel like they don’t exist in the world. Everyone is different and we should treat people with a disability equally and celebrate are differences by instead of ignoring someone who uses a wheelchair go up to them and ask “how are you today” or if you are shy (like me) you can smile at them. A smile might just be what a person needs to make their day and bring happiness, I think we should respect people around us even if they are different just be kind or smile and it will make a world a better place. Simple gestures of kindness can go along way and remember you can change the world for the better, positivity attracts positivity and negativity attracts negativity so always look on the bright side and spread positivity around like Penny spreads laughter.

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