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Diversity and Acceptance: A Youth Perspective

Diversity and Acceptance: A Youth Perspective

Today we offer a blog post from the unique perspective of our guest contributor, Mohammad Alhefzi, a local youth with a disability who also acknowledges his cultural diversity.

Hello, my name is Mohammad but I prefer to call myself Hamoudi, and I am 10 years old. I am a happy boy who enjoys playing with other kids and I love water activities. I love music and dancing. I am a handsome boy with pretty thick, hair and I have tons of pictures from my fashion modeling. I also have Cerebral Palsy, which is a birth-related disorder that affects the brain and nervous system. I was born premature (26 weeks) and that caused severe brain bleeding that affects many parts of my brain. When I was born, I was so tiny (950g), and I spent 100 days in the Intensive Care Nursery. Because of that, I have a limited ability to move and talk. It also causes hearing impairment and vision impairment.

I am from Saudi Arabia and in my country, kids like me are perceived to be imbeciles and, therefore, don’t go to school. It is so sad because people don’t speak to us, instead they tell us that we are not good enough for school because it is always easier to blame others for failure. My mom and I didn’t give up; we decided to come to the United State of America. Our decision to come here opened the door for both of us. I came to the United States in 2014 when I was 6 years old and I attended Maple Creek Elementary School in Fresno, California. On the other hand, my mom graduated with a Master’s Degree in Special Education from the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. Now, she is working with PEAK Parent Center to help all kids like me get a quality education and to empower their parents to advocate for their children.

Kholod Alhefzi recently joined PEAK’s team of parent advisors after receiving support from PEAK with Mohammad, or Hamoudi as he prefers to be called. Thanks to Kholod, PEAK now offers parent advising in Arabic. Kholod also hopes that acceptance and inclusion will one day be part of Arab culture. If you need the help of one of our trained parent advisors, please call 719-531-9400 or email parentadvisor@peakparent.org.

                  Mohammad photo      Mohammad photo 2     Mohammad photo 3