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Learning 'A'bilities

6:11 PM, Jul 25, 2008   |    comments
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Tallahassee, Florida -- Students from across the state gathered in Tallahassee to focus on their "abilities" rather than their "disabilities."

18-year-old Jordan Muhlbauer wants to be a meteorologist or a climatologist. He's fascinated with science and he's learning more about jobs in the industry at the 9th Annual Able Trust Youth Leadership Forum.

Here, he shines as the class clown (making everyone laugh after asking a police officer to demonstrate a taser.) But he told us that he has ADHD and a learning disability.

"I came here to get a better understanding of the learning disabilities and other people's disabilities and have a better understanding of how people interact with each other... and make new friends too," said Muhlbauer.

YLF is a place where students can park their disabilities and learn about opportunities.

"It allows the students to learn about their employment opportunities and what kind of careers might be available to them as they move into their adult life," said Susanne Homant, President and CEO of Able Trust.

It's also about making friends.

"You learn to look past their disabilities and you learn to see the person inside of them. They're just like me, you know, they're just like anybody else," said Muhlbauer.

Jordan Muhlbauer is learning to emphasize his 'A'bilities.

"Doesn't matter if they have a speech impediment or if they're blind or anything else... they're still people," said Muhlbauer.

YLF is free for High School juniors and seniors, thanks to private donations.

Brittany Benner, Tampa Bay's 10 News

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