About the presenter: Alina Davis is an 18 year old person who stutters from Pennsylvania. She is in college in New York City majoring in Speech-Language Pathology and is excited for the new adventures that will come with that. She enjoys theater, music, and traveling. Although she is now too old to be an Our Time kid, she plans on being a full time volunteer when Our Time starts again in October.

You can post Questions/comments about the following paper to the author before October 22, 2011.

"Those Who Mind, Don't Matter"

by Alina Davis
from Pennsylvania, USA

Dr. Seuss once said, "Be who you are and say how you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." As a person who stutters, living by this quote can be difficult.

In tenth grade, I was bullied because of my stuttering. I was mocked in the hallways at school, I found horrible things about me written on the bathroom wall, and I found things written about me on Facebook ridiculing me because I stutter. The bullying and mockery caused me to lose my voice and personality.

A little over a year ago I found a theater company for kids who stutter called Our Time (www.ourtimestutter.org), located in NYC. Our Time is a non profit organization that helps kids who stutter ages 8-18 find their voice through the performing arts. For kids who aren't in the New York area, Our Time has a 10 day sleep away camp in North Carolina called Camp Our Time (www.campourtime.org). Since finding Our Time, I have gained confidence and a voice. I realized that those bullies didn't matter. I found myself once again and I was able to get my personality back.

Next month, I will be getting ready to start college. As I make my way on this new journey, I refuse to let those who mind, matter. I refuse to let fear run my life. I will be myself and say how I feel without feeling ashamed. I will seek after my goals and dreams with courage and bravery. I will live the life I want to live without anything or anyone negatively interfering. I will stand strong and say, "I stutter. I have accepted it and you should, too."

You can post Questions/comments about the above paper to the author before October 22, 2011.

SUBMITTED: July 21, 2011
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