By Miriam Bernard

When recent high school graduate Grace Wilbourn, ACC was informed about her Senior Capstone Project at school earlier this year, she immediately knew she would be creating a project that would inform her school community about ACC and research surrounding DCCs. Having reached a point in her life where she felt comfortable enough to say, “This is me!”, she set out fulfilling the requirements of the project: a research paper, a 10-minute presentation and a community project element. As her community project, she chose to raise funds for the NODCC in both physical donation boxes at her school and through Facebook. In total, Grace raised $1,256 for the NODCC! Even more importantly, though, she was also able to share with the student body, faculty, staff, and visitors in her school this integral part of who she is.

In fact, soon after her presentation to the student body, which included a reading of the book “ACC and Me”, a second grader at the school approached his mother and said, “I think I might have some of that.” The mother later reported that she didn’t know how or when to tell her son about his ACC, and through Grace’s presentation, the opportunity presented itself perfectly. This is just a small example of how Grace’s courage to be who she is made positive ripples through her school and community. Not to mention, the funds she raised will be used by the NODCC for research, outreach, and programs to continue helping families and individuals whose lives are affected by DCCs.

We are so proud of Grace and the courage and good will she showed through her Senior Capstone project, and we hope it inspires readers to do as Grace did and say to the world, “This is me!” We also thank Grace’s mother, Jennie Wilbourn for sharing this story with us, so it can touch and inspire others.