Don’t take our word for it…Check out what our Alumni have to say:

Graduation Speech-LuAnder“I learned that having a disability is a vital part of my life, but I can’t let it control who I am.Leadership and self-advocacy are two of many things that must be used to take charge of my own life so I can be independent. I’ve learned to be proud of my disability and I’ve learned when I go home and back to school, I can finally fully explain to people what having a disability really means: I have a disability. I have a challenge in my life; an obstacle that will never go away, but I must embrace it and tell everyone that I’m not ‘hearing impaired,’ rather that I have a disability, but it doesn’t have me.”  -A.P., Class of 2014  

“I learned not to be embarrassed of my disability.”  –M.D., 2015 Alum

“I have learned that it does not matter who you are, what color you are, and what disability you have. The only thing that matters is treating everybody equal so that everyone has the same rights as well as opportunities.” -L.S., Class of 2017

“This made me feel like a different person that I never felt like before. I actually chose to be here, to have a great time with the friends I made here. I want to thank the staff for telling me that I’m a great kid. All the people here have big hearts and the kids here made me happy. The greatest lesson I learned is that we all have disabilities.”               -D.W., 2014 Alum

Kayla

“I learned that people with disabilities can do anything anyone else can do. Also that having a disability isn’t a bad thing and you shouldn’t let it own you.”  –S.W., Class of 2015 

“I am learning to accept myself for who I am and what I plan to become. AZYLF showed me to never be afraid to try new things with different people. It opened my eyes to different things. The person we want to be is the person we decide to become.”   -J.T., Class of 2016 

“In order to become a strong leader, we must learn self-advocacy and self-expression. It is only through effective communication that we can inform, encourage, and hep others.” N.H., Class of 2017

“The only way to get what you want is to advocate for yourself, take initiative! Just because we have a disability doesn’t mean that we are weak and can’t be independent. We just have to work a bit harder and in the end it makes us stronger. The best way to change how others think about us is to lead by example. We can be great people unhindered by our disabilities.” -M.S., Class of 2014 

“I’ve learned that people can do amazing things if they set their mind to it and with someone to help start their journey. Just because you have a disability doesn’t mean there’s anything holding you back.”                -K.M., Class of 2015 

Graduation Speech-Adrian

“No matter how big or small the obstacles are or how many obstacles you face, never give up and up you will be ultimately, and genuinely happy.”   -B.R., Class of 2014

“I learned how to stand up for myself. How to do public speaking. How to advocate. How to be more social. How to dance!!”   -S.L., Class of 2015 

“Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Never be an outcast. Making friends is not impossible. Accept compliments. Have a sense of humor.”        -J.B., Class of 2016

“Even if I am independent, together we have a bigger voice, a bigger influence, which makes a very big difference, which can effect the community as a whole.” M.S., Class of 2017

“The greatest lesson I learned is that I am not my disability!!! I am awesome and I am not alone!”  -A.C., Class of 2014