“Leadership is attitude you develop”
~Robert Pio Hajjar
Tears fell and my heart danced. I watched an amazing pep talk from a fellow visionary, Robert Pio Hajjar. He is the founding director of IDEAL-WAY.ca, which is dedicated to enriching the lives of intellectually disabled individuals and groups. This year, he was the inspiring opening speaker at the Best Buddies Regional Conference 2009. Best Buddies Canada is a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing our communities through one-to-one friendships between individuals with intellectual disabilities and students.
Robert has a vision for his organization. In fact, he had saved money for some time and donated all of it to start IDEAL-WAY.ca. He is committed to helping others feel IDEAL:
Robert urged his audience to know that “the only time you can’t do something is if you never try”. He explained amazing results are possible when we experience love, encouragement, and opportunity. Considering his own accomplishments with achieving his goals, he asked the audience, “Have you ever wanted to be a part of something? Do you have a vision? Do you stand up for what you believe in? Do you have a purpose?”
“You can be a leader too. Leadership is attitude you develop.”
Robert is an inspiration. He is changing perceptions and giving hope. He is an incredible, devoted individual who is changing lives and fostering a community of support and spirit. He is bringing people to their feet to dance, dance, dance. The world needs more Roberts.
“When I was born, the doctors told my parents to put me away.”
It was Robert’s parents who knew their son, who was born with Down Syndrome, had a great purpose in life. They told him that he was a gift from God and that they would never, ever give him away. Now Robert is the voice, he is the believer, he is the teacher:
As I stand here, I see everyone as an equal.
As I stand here, I see you as my friend.
How do you see me?
See me first, and then my disability.
…or just see me.
Watch the video of Robert’s speech:
Visit Robert’s IDEAL-WAY.ca site: http://ideal-way.ca/
Visit the Best Buddies site: http://www.bestbuddies.ca/
Marnee Brick, MSc
Speech-Language Pathologist and Director of Speech Therapy
TinyEYE Therapy Services (Speech Therapy Telepractice)
Growing smiles, mending spirits, engaging children in their lives