My name is Whitley Draper and I moved from Colorado to Essex Junction, Vermont last fall. I am a member of Champlain Voices; a self-advocacy group which is a part of Green Mountain Self Advocates. Being new to Vermont, it has helped me to speak up for myself and discuss my needs. It has been fun meeting new people and learning about activities in the area. I am looking for a job and hope to have an internship soon.

In our advocacy group we are writing stories that will assist policy makers make changes that will improve the quality our lives. I am working on a story that I’ll share with Vermont legislators about my difficulties with transportation.

Since I am new to the area I know I need to participate in activities so I can socialize and meet new friends. Transportation to and from events is a problem since bus transportation is limited in my area. My family is looking into other special transportation services but right now I have to rely on my parents to give me rides everywhere. I would like to be more independent and not feel left out.

I will share this story with legislators and our upcoming Legislative Lunch on October 5th at Champlain Community Services from 1:00-3:00.

Thank you for listening to my story.