The Elyse Imani Purefoy Youth Empowerment
& Scholarship Program
I am a 10 year old boy who lives in Covington Ga. I was born with a neuromuscular disorder called Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) type 2. SMA causes progressive muscle wasting. Due to this disorder, I was never able to crawl, stand independently nor walk. SMA also affects my breathing and swallowing at times.
On a more positive note, I am a consumer advocate for Quantum Rehab. I am operating the Quantum Ievel to help enhance my quality of life. The level allows me to elevate and have direct face to face interactions with friends and teachers. The speed gives me the ability to keep up and even race with my friends. The durability allows me to do what boys due, play outside in the dirt and run through water.
For fun, I play baseball for the Miracle league of Newton County.
I am an honorary police officer for the city of Covington police department in Ga. I was presented with a Proclamation which was read on the House floor in Washington D.C. by both a democratic and Republican Senator in Ga. making December 17th Officer Morgan's Day. With this platform, my mother helped me create a non profit "Officer Morgan's Safety Program Inc."
I give back to my community by,: Sharing safety tips with children through my safety program; Volunteering with Hosea feed the Hungry (Hosea Helps); Shambassador for Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA); Influential in building the first special needs play ground in my hometown.
Although I'm fighting this devastating disorder (SMA), I am determined to live my BEST LIFE and accomplish as many dreams and goals as possible. I am currently working on my first children's safety book. Supported by Mother/Tangi Foreman.
Kaleb Austin Harris
Kaleb Austin Harris was born June 15, 1999. Kaleb was born Twin B at 24 weeks, weighing 1lb 7ounces. His sister Kalia Harris was born Twin A June 1st 1999 at 22weeks. She didn't survive the birth.
Kaleb has been a fighter all of his life. On the day he was born the Doctors stated he would not live more than 3 days. Kaleb surpassed that deadline. The next 30 days was crucial. He fought to live. The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit staff had done all they could at this point. They rushed him from Southern Regional Medical Center Hospital to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. The doctors stated the ride to the hospital alone would kill him. Kaleb made it there safely. He got stronger at Children’s’ Healthcare. Thirty days later they released him back into the care of Southern Regional. He continued to thrive there and was released to go home after another four months of care.
The next 12 months his mother Yolanda had to learn how to take care of this tiny 4lb baby boy. She was introduced to the Babies Can't Wait Program. They helped with Kaleb’s development. The doctors noticed he was not doing the things new babies should do. He wasn’t trying to hold his bottle, suck on a pacifier, and pick up small items like cheerios. His mother said “No he is fine. He was just a premature baby”. The doctors stated to her "even as a preemie baby, he still should show progress". At this time he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. His new journey begins at 16 months old.
Over the past 19 years Kaleb has overcome so many obstacles in his life. He is a fighter, strong with much determination. He is a junior at Mt Zion High school. He loves to read. He enjoys music of all kinds. Gospel & hip hop music is his favorite.
He is a man of faith. He is a Youth Minister as well as the Junior Adjutant at Arise Church in Decatur Ga where Bishop Kent David Branch is his pastor. This is where he serves God & Gods people. He is faithful and loves God. Kaleb will do mighty things for the Kingdom of God. He is such an inspiration to many.
The National Black Disability Coalition (NBDC)
NBDC is the nation’s organization for all Black disabled people. Membership and partners includes Black disabled organizations, disabled people, parents, family members, faith based, non-profits, and academic and policy leaders.
Founded in 1990, in response to the need for Black disabled people to organize around mutual concerns, NBDC is dedicated to examining and improving; community leadership, family inclusion, entrepreneurship, civil rights, service delivery systems, education and information and Black disabled identity and culture through the lenses of ableism and racism.