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PROMability Names Patrick Henry Hughes Ability Icon for December
The blind award winning multi-instrument performer advises: “Don’t hold back.”
Twenty-four year old Hughes first walked away with America’s heart when he appeared with his family on the popular ABC-TV show Extreme Makeover, which provided an ADA compliant home for that also created greater independence for Patrick Henry. Many more network TV appearances and a book I am Potential, co-written with his father, have followed for the virtuoso pianist and singer, all contributing to a life of fulfillment beyond his wildest dreams.
Long before fame grabbed on to him, Patrick Henry was young man born in Louisville, Kentucky in 1988 with multiple disabilities and a natural gift for music. In his words, he came into the world “without eyes - I'm totally blind, with arms and legs that won't straighten, making me a user of a wheelchair for mobility.”
But a loving family and a dedicated father, who had hoped for a star football player baby, changed that trajectory and laid the foundation for Patrick Henry to defy all expectations. Recognition and nurturing of Patrick Henry’s natural musical talent and support from his school led to a coveted place in the University of Louisville’s marching band where he became a star of a different ability on the football field. And, to top it all, Patrick Henry graduated magna cum laude with a degree in Spanish.
Lisa Hamilton-Johnson, President of TLC Mobility says: “Patrick Henry’s journey to overcome obstacles that are unimaginable to most of us, and finding his place in life, is breathtaking. He exemplifies the empowerment that we at PROMability would like for all graduating teens holding on to big dreams and aiming for the highest level of achievement, despite their disability. His story has the power to change lives.”
How to Enter and Win Your Prom Night
High school seniors with disabilities from Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade County public, private, and home schools can enter from now through January 7, 2013, by submitting a poem, essay, video or song on the contest topic: “In My Perfect World…” to www.PROMabiity.com. One male and one female senior will win a free prom night plus extras - from limousine service, prom attire, hair styling, make-up, electronics, prom tickets − all taken care of, thanks to PROMability sponsors and supporters.
Included is a red carpet evening, which will put the spotlight on the grand prize-winners, and celebrate the ability and diversity in our community. Winners will subsequently receive a one-on-one mentorship lunch with a business professional to further develop and support them as they transition to higher education or the workplace. Please visit www.PROMabiity.com for contest details and to learn more.
With inspiration from Patrick Henry Hughes, winning is always possible. “I believe anything is possible if you want it bad enough and are willing to work for it. Sometimes it is difficult to leave our comfort zone and try new things where we may not find success. Failure can hurt. However, if we don't try, we will never know the possibilities that may have existed.”