We all have our unique strengths, but some of us go throughout life never unlocking what ours truly are.
So, we settle and worry about trivial things that have no real impact on what matters. Yet, a life of purpose is within your reach. If you are simply willing to step outside of your comfort zone, then you can contribute to this world in a way that is completely your own.
Thus, I bring you the story of my dear friend, Emma Linke. Emma is a bubbly and bright young woman who, like any other 22-year-old, occasionally feels overwhelmed at the thought of embarking upon a career. But, despite her disability, she has inspired countless individuals to keep pushing through life’s obstacles and find a place where they can truly make a difference, in their own way.
Below, in her own words, is Emma’s story:
World of Ability:
Hi, my name is Emma Rose Linke. When I was in high school at Columbus East, I did not want to talk about my disability. It was hard for me in high school. The first thing was that I would tell myself that I can’t do things. Then, my friend, Jenna Brewer, sat down on a couch and we talked about stuff like why I had said that.
Back in high school, I did not feel like I had very much confidence in myself all throughout 11th grade. Then, my senior year came and one day, I worked on my senior project at school. I was saying different words like that and Jenna said to me, “Don’t say that. I have faith in ya!” I said that I will try to not say that any more. I am glad that I have Jenna in my life. She got me through high school.
Then, I did a project with Cummins. It helped students with disabilities and it was called World of Ability. I realized that I could inspire a lot of people from it and now, after I did it, I just realized what all other people can do with a disability like me. When I hear nice comments about me from my friends like Jenna and Jess Brewer and their parents and brother and when I think back from it, I just realize I can help other people to find a job like me.
If you put your mind to it, you can do anything. Keep your head up and keep positive and do not put yourself down. It is not good and if you do, you will think that you won’t be able to do anything. I hope after you see my video, then you can realize what struggles I went through. That is why you can have special people in your life like family and friends.
WATCH THE WORLD OF ABILITY VIDEO HERE sponsored by Cummins Foundation: Select
Lastly, I leave you with an inspirational story that Emma wrote about her future ambitions. It is my hope that we can make a couple of her dreams come true:
Just Follow Your Dreams:
One day, I am going to follow my dreams of getting a paying job and make more money and I am going to learn how to drive a car and I will be able to go anywhere I can go and hang out with friends. I want to go on vacation to North Carolina to visit another place with friends I love and care about and make me happy.
And I can get out of my little box and I can get out in the real world and be not scared of things. One of my friends lives in Chicago. It is one of very pretty places in the world and I want to be able to take a picture of different places. I can make my own web site like one of my friends. She inspired me by her website, Think Train. It helped me through different things.
In all, Emma has inspired me to continue pushing through when figuring out how I can contribute to this world. While the fear of being vulnerable holds many of us back, Emma has shown that pushing through these feelings can open new doors to optimizing your potential. I hope that what we can all take away from this story is that we should be more like Emma and not let our fears hold us back from achieving true purpose.
If you have any questions for Emma, you can add her on Instagram @11linkee or on facebook, Emma Linke.