IWU student to receive international award

Indiana Wesleyan University student Mason Metzger will receive a 2019 Yes I Can Award from the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC).

Metzger, a sophomore studying Human Communication, was diagnosed at birth with spastic cerebral palsy and has received special education services throughout his schooling. He has pushed the limits in terms of physical activity by successfully participating in cycling, skiing and water skiing. He has even taken a childhood dream of being a motivational speaker and made it a reality.

Metzger was the keynote speaker at the Warsaw Community Schools All Staff Convocation in August 2014, where he spoke to more than 500 professionals about pursuing his dream and enriching the lives of others. Since then, Metzger has spoken to over 50 audiences including area elementary, middle and high schools. In 2015, Metzger was invited to be the keynote speaker for the Grace College Disability Awareness Week hosted by the Grace College Chapter of the Council for Exceptional Children.

In addition to these speaking engagements, Metzger was also invited to speak on the House floor of the Indiana State House of Representatives in 2017. “Mason delivered an amazing inspirational speech to the Indiana House of Representatives. He told us that through teamwork and unity we can accomplish great things. We were all inspired to work together to get things done to benefit all the people of Indiana. He brought us to laughter and got a standing ovation from the entire chamber,” said Curt Nisly, Indiana State Representative.

Metzger’s inspirational speeches have been centered on a variety of topics, many which stem from his personal challenges and experiences. These topics include making an impact, being empowered, overcoming challenges, being a leader, perseverance, working as a team, having a mission in life and being a teenager with a strong work ethic.

Metzger will formally accept the Yes I Can Award in the self-advocacy category on Feb. 1, 2019 at the CEC 2019 Convention & Expo in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Yes I Can program recognizes the accomplishments of 12 students with exceptionalities in six categories: academics, arts, school and community activities, self-advocacy, technology, and transition.

“Being recognized by the CEC for my advocacy efforts is humbling and it serves as a milestone as I grow into the person that God created me to be,” said Metzger. “Although recognition is not everything, it shows me that people are being impacted by my story and that I am truly making a difference. The development of my self-advocacy skills have afforded me the opportunity to blaze the trail for others with specialized challenges.”

The CEC is the professional association of educators dedicated to advancing the educational success of children and youth with exceptionalities that accomplishes its mission through advocacy, standards and professional development. To learn more, visit www.cec.sped.org.

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