Thompson Rivers University

Success, self-advocacy and sharing your story

November 17, 2017

Student and advocate Lisa Coriale said, “Each person with diverse abilities has different strengths to contribute to the community and to the world.”

Having already earned degrees in both Social Work and Journalism, as well as a Certificate in Aboriginal Studies, Lisa Coriale is moving on to her next educational pursuit. Now a graduate student in the Master of Education program, Lisa affirms, “I love learning and spending time on campus.” Through her writing in “The Kamloops Self-Advocate: A Newsletter for People with Diverse Abilities,” she explores her own experiences and personal growth in the face of adversity.  While support and collaboration are essential to achievement, Lisa argues that self-advocacy is a major component to personal success: “speak on your own behalf to improve quality of life, effect personal change or correct inequalities.”

Disability Advisor Katie Thomson said, “Lisa is always a pleasure to work and collaborate with. She is well versed in the world of academia and is an engaged student.”

Robbyn Bennett, Disability Services Manager, remarked, “Lisa’s drive and commitment to education is remarkable. She has multiple degrees and is a dedicated learner. Her enthusiasm for accomplishing her goals is inspiring.”

As a contributor to the newsletter, Lisa shared her message and mission in “Self-Advocacy: Standing Up for Yourself and Others”.

“I don’t like talking about myself.  I prefer to discuss challenges, create solutions and advocate for issues that affect individuals with diverse abilities.”

That being said, Lisa believes that sharing your own story bolsters others to believe in themselves. To her, the secret to success is a “collaboration of elements: family, friends and a higher power.” In the article, the future counselor shares her wisdom in hopes to inspire others.

Concentrate on your attributes, not your limitations. “Focus on the abilities that you have—not what you don’t have.”

Understand your needs. “Self-advocacy is partly about knowing what you need and how to ask for it.”

Ask for help. “It is important to know how to advocate for yourself but know when somebody else needs to step in.”

Confidence. “Believe that you are deserving of the help that you are asking for.”

Pay it forward. “Advocating for others is a very rewarding experience.”

Clarity is key. “In order to get results, ask someone you know and trust to help you articulate and organize your thoughts and intentions.”

Have a plan. “It is helpful to know all of the choices that are available to you, in order to make an informed decision about the direction you want to take.”

Persist with dogged determination: “Do not give up when you need something. It can be difficult to ask for help, especially when you have to ask repeatedly, but sometimes, you have no choice.”

Own your individuality: “Each person with diverse abilities has different strengths to contribute to the community and to the world.”


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