An eight-year-old Okotokian made a presentation in front of his whole grade last week.
Third grader at École Good Shepherd School, Frank Ulloa, was born with a congenital amputation where he was born without part of his right hand.
He's been a member of The War Amp's Child Amputee Program (CHAMP) since he was six months old.
CHAMP provides support to child amputees including financial assistance for standard and recreational limbs and devices, peer support, and advocacy.
Much of their work is funded through public support of their Key Tag and Address Label Service.
With help from The War Amps and CHAMP, Frank made an amputation awareness presentation to his fellow third-grade students on November 17.
Frank covered a wide range of topics including what it's like to be an amputee, what The War Amps is, and his experience with CHAMP.
He says he also got to show off some of his prosthetics and tools.
"My swim hand is kind of like a device that helps me swim better. We have special sticky mats that help me bake, and we have special tubes that help my hand hold on to forks, knives, and spoons."
His classmates were also able to ask him questions about himself.
Frank had some help from Jovanna Rodney, a CHAMP grad who spoke about her own experiences and helped with questions Frank wasn't able to answer.
He says he wasn't nervous, even in front of so many people.
"I like answering people's questions, especially in front of big crowds."
Sarah, Frank's mother, says it's a great opportunity for kids to learn about Frank directly from him.
"We've had instances in the past where people have kind of said things that weren't really appropriate, so by having a presentation like this it really helps with all his classmates and kids who he's out at recess with to ask these questions, so they're not wondering what's going on with it, it puts everything all out in the open. Then they just carry on as his friends after that. It's also great because it opens up a lot of kids' eyes to seeing how other people live and how there are all different people out there with different kinds of amputations and other physical differences."
She's also glad Frank got to make the presentation himself.
"It gives Frank some ownership over his amputation as well and to make sure that amputees take pride in their bodies. There are a lot of benefits both ways for the students and for the presenters in this situation," says Sarah.
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