Letter to Obama Foundation

DEAR PRESIDENT OBAMA,

I AM WRITING YOU TO SEE IF IT WOULD BE POSSIBLE TO VISIT WITH YOU THIS SUMMER. I WAS SUPPOSED TO TAKE PART IN THE UN YOUTH PILGRIMAGE THROUGH THE ODD FELLOWS LODGE, BUT THEY DECIDED THAT BECAUSE I AM AUTISTIC AND RELY ON A LETTERBOARD TO COMMUNICATE, THEY DECIDED I SHOULD NOT TAKE PART. THIS WAS INCREDIBLY DISAPPOINTING TO ME, BECAUSE I WON MY SPOT FAIR AND SQUARE. I DON’T SEE WHY SOMEONE LIKE ME SHOULD NOT BE ABLE TO TAKE PART JUST BECAUSE I COMMUNICATE DIFFERENTLY.

THE PURPOSE OF MY TRIP WAS TO VISIT THE UN IN NEW YORK CITY, SEE MONTREAL, AND VISIT OUR COUNTRY’S CAPITAL AND LEARN ABOUT HISTORY. POSSIBLY, WE WOULD HAVE STAYED A LITTLE LONGER TO SEE MY UNCLE’S FAMILY. LET’S JUST SAY THAT THE DENIAL OF MY PARTICIPATION REALLY MESSED UP THOSE PLANS.

THE VERY FACT OF MY PARTICIPATION WAS A BIG STEP IN MY EXCITING JOURNEY AS A SELF-ADVOCATE. IT WAS ONLY THREE YEARS AGO THAT I LEARNED HOW TO USE A LETTERBOARD. SINCE THAT TIME, I STARTED HIGH SCHOOL, AND A WHOLE WORLD OPENED UP TO ME. I AM LEARNING SO MANY NEW THINGS, AND REALLY, I CHANGE FOR THE BETTER EVERY CLASS I ATTEND. MY PLAN IS TO STUDY SCIENCE IN COLLEGE. PERHAPS THAT’S CRAZY, BUT I’M GOING TO TRY. ULTIMATELY, I WANT TO MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES, ESPECIALLY THOSE WHO ARE LOW-VERBAL OR RELY ON ALTERNATIVE TECHNOLOGY TO COMMUNICATE. MY LIFE IS AMAZING, AND I WOULDN’T WISH IT TO BE AN OTHER WAY THAN AUTISTIC.

REGARDING THE TRIP, MY MOM SAID SHE WOULD TAKE ME TO DC EVEN IF THE UN PEOPLE DON’T REVERSE THEIR DECISION. WITH THAT IN MIND, I WOULD APPRECIATE MEETING WITH YOU TO SHARE MY VISION OF WHAT AUTISTIC CITIZENS CAN CONTRIBUTE TO THEIR COUNTRY.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME,

NIKO BOSKOVIC

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