"You can start a company and suddenly help bring the whole world together..."
Sixty-five minutes into a sixty-six minute twitter session at the White House, Pres. Obama mentioned exactly what I wanted to hear. You can change the world with an entrepreneurial idea and perseverance. It made me think about what can I do as a citizen and as a person with a disability.
On July 6, Pres. Obama and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey hosted a Twitter Town Hall in the East Room of the White House. It was an opportunity to show the power of social media as well as a chance to answer direct questions from citizens. Many of the questions reflect our present-day concerns about the direction of the country. A vast majority of the questions dealt with the economy, whether it be taxes, jobs or the debt ceiling.
It was mentioned on more than one occasion that the growth of small businesses will continue to lead our efforts in moving the economy forward. I believe that to be true. Entrepreneurs will create new services and technologies that will lead the growth of the economy. Hopefully these services and technologies will create manufacturing jobs in this country as well. I am proud to be an entrepreneur myself.
In March, I wrote a blog critical of the lack of support for people with disabilities in the public/private partnership to support entrepreneurs titled Startup America. This program was announced during the State of the Union speech and it discussed mentoring small business owners. As an entrepreneur interested in mentoring people with disabilities, I was very interested in the mentoring opportunities presented by Startup America. I still am.
While there was no mention of people with disabilities directly in the Twitter Town Hall meeting, there were references to small business owners as well as military veterans. President Obama cited these groups, as economic fuel for America. This indirectly supports people with disabilities. As I was sitting there, I was thinking about the new Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University -- a prime example of a new venture supporting employment/education for military veterans.
There are organizations supporting small business growth as a catalyst for larger economic growth. There are entrepreneurs like myself looking forward to our ideas taking hold, like Jack Dorsey did with Twitter.
Our Ability is three months young. We are moving forward with early success producing videos of young people with disabilities as well as mentoring those young people looking for employment and education. Because of this success, I am proud to have been able to attend the Twitter Town Hall meeting. I look forward to our growth and as President Obama described -- bringing the whole world together. My ultimate goal is to bring the whole world of people with disabilities together and mentor them into better employment and educational opportunities.