Our Stories Are Important
Every July, education leaders from all over the country convene in Washington DC to attend the Special Education Legislative Summit sponsored by the CEC and CASE. During this conference, these leaders address some of the most critical issues in Special Education and form state delegations to march on Capitol Hill to meet with congressional leaders to advocate for better solutions and change.
For the second year in a row, eLuma is both sponsoring and participating in this conference. We support the special education community and want to do our part in making things better for the students. Jeremy Glauser, our Founder and President, was honored to give a short presentation.
Phyllis Wolfram, President of the Council of Administrators of Special Education:
“So it’s my pleasure and honor to introduce the sponsor for our upcoming break. I’ve had a great opportunity to get to know Jeremy and his staff over the last couple of years, and just want to share with you a couple of things that I know about Jeremy. I know that Jeremy is very passionate about all the work that we do in special education. I know that Jeremy is especially passionate about supporting our teachers and our related service providers that are doing the tough and the great work every day in our classrooms. And I know that Jeremy is extraordinarily passionate about giving back. So we want to thank Jeremy and his staff for their support, and their friendship to CEC, and to CASE. So please join me in welcoming Jeremy.”
Presentation: Our Stories Are Important
Jeremy Glauser, Founder & President of eLuma:
“I’ll keep this brief. It’s not every day that I get up in front of this many people. You’re a beautiful, but kind of intimidating sight. I’m going to get you one step closer to break, so just stand up. Let’s all stand up. We’re very close. I’ll be brief with this, I promise.
We wear these green shirts because we feel like familiarity fosters friendships, and it’s easy for you to know who we are. And I have to compliment Virginia CASE too because they are cousins in crime with their blue shirts.
I really appreciate what Stacy and Myrna have said. I’m very passionate about many things that Phyllis mentioned, including mental health. And last year I talked about the fact that I work with a special needs group, a youth group, a small group. And one of my boys committed suicide at the age of 16 — and it was heartbreaking to me. And in my local high school there were eight suicides this past school year, and it was the second of those eight. And it’s heartbreaking, right? And when you go out and you tell these stories, it’s really important that you help these Senators, and these Congressmen and women see what’s important to you.
And I have family members who struggle with mental health. I am fighting for my own mental wellness. We are all fighting for it. [Audience applause] We have to be willing to talk about it, because no one is immune. Every single person is fighting for that mental wellness and mental health. And we have to start, I mean our story is unique.
My son just graduated from kindergarten. I have three young kids. That’s his first grade teacher. [Referencing pictures on screen.] And then like two daughters with my wife on the right. This is the letter that he wrote to his teacher. [Referencing letter.] You were really fun and Ms. Richardson, but I am excited to be a first grader. I will miss you. I will visit you sometimes.
My mom was a teacher. She taught, you know, ELL kids, in the early ages. And she taught me to visualize what I believe, to follow my dreams and to literally create my own future. When she was 50, she went back and got her master’s in education. Within months she died suddenly a rare post-surgery infection.
And I had a choice to go down the rabbit hole of despair, or to follow and live for her. And I tell you what, we all have a story. We all have a passion to share. And I love that you’re here and I get to be with you, because our story’s important and it affects millions of kids around this country. And I invite every single one of you to visualize, to create a ritual of visualizing what you want to accomplish in your life, and in the lives of those around you. And it is inevitable that will come true. And I share that with you. Thank you.”