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Guitars For Good, I

October 09 - October 22

Tulsa Advocates for the Rights of Citizens with Developmental Disabilities
TARC is committed to ensuring a high quality of life for individuals with developmental disabilities and their families through education, empowerment, support, and advocacy.
TARC believes that people with disabilities are entitled to dignity and respect that empowerment is the most effective way to help them achieve their dreams.
TARC envisions a world in which these individuals have a right to make their own choices and their voices are reflected in all decisions affecting their lives.

Court Appointed Special Advocate
The National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association, together with its state and local member programs, supports and promotes court-appointed volunteer advocacy so every abused or neglected child in the United States can be safe, have a permanent home and the opportunity to thrive.

Best Buddies Texas
Best Buddies International is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).

Agvocates
AgVocates for Exceptional Individuals exists to promote the cognitive, social, and physical development of children with disabilities through daily care and the exhibition of livestock.
AgVocates for Exceptional Individuals is governed by a Philosophy of Education that fosters a learner-centered, active and interactive pedagogy that develops every child cognitively, socially, and emotionally. They provide a platform and a curriculum that naturally captures a child’s attention and directs that focus at paralleling the life skills practiced with their project to enhancing their own quality of life. Utilizing all learning modalities, their multi-sensory approach focuses on character and building self-esteem. Concept retention is remarkably higher when what is being learned is relevant and meaningful, allowing an actively engaged child to make connections with prior knowledge and experiences.

American Therapeutic Riding Center
Founded in 2007 by Kenneth and Vickie Burkett, The American Therapeutic Riding Center (ATRC) is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization and a PATH Center Member (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship). ATRC opened to the public in August of 2008.
ATRC provides opportunities for people with varying ability levels and physical disabilities to challenge themselves physically and emotionally by setting goals to improve quality of life through equine facilitated therapy.
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  • Artist

    Jacob

    24 yrs old

  • Artist

    Trish

    31 yrs old

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    Alex

    14 yrs old

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    Garrison

    18 yrs old

  • Artist

    Bronson

    14 yrs old

Jacob was born July 21 with Optic Nerve Hypoplasia (ONH).
As a baby and toddler, he went through so much because no one was really sure what was wrong with his eyes. We spent a great deal of our time taking him back and forth to appointments at Children’s Hospital in Dallas for testing and appointments with different doctors and specialists. At the age of 4, they referred us to a Pediatric Ophthalmologist, Dr. George Beauchamp and Jacob saw him every 6 months. At the age of 7 Jacob was finally old enough to have eye surgery. A difficult decision for us, worried that he could be completely blind as they have to tell you all the things that can go wrong. The surgery was to move his focal point from the side to the front. He always turned his head to the side to focus on something. He could never just look straightforward.
So of course, this made things difficult for him in school. School was rough for him having to use his visual equipment and look different from the other kids and all he ever wanted to be is just normal and to fit in with everyone else.
In High School, Jacob wanted to play football but the coaches wouldn’t let him due to having a blind side. I suggested Power Lifting and he tried it and he liked it but for competitions he couldn’t see for the lifting cues. He eventually quit. We just kept encouraging him to keep trying things to find something he liked. He just wanted to be involved in something and finally he was taking art his freshman year. The first assignment was to draw a self-portrait in graphite pencil. It only took him 2 days on this project and he had never had an art class before. His dad and I were just amazed from then on with his talent.
Jacob took all 4 years of high school art with Mr. Steve Fuqua. The most amazing art teacher and I am forever grateful to him for what he taught Jacob. Jacob Graduated from Rains High School in June of 2012.

Trish was born Dec. 10 weighing barely 2 lbs. She was nearly full-term and had stopped growing when I was 3 months pregnant. We knew the whole time we were expecting her that she was in trouble. We lived in Houston at the time and were sent to specialist after specialist. No one could figure out what was happening and warned us she would probably die before she was born. I went to the doctor nearly every day just to make sure her heart was still beating. When her lungs were fully developed labor was induced to get her out. She got stressed and was taken by emergency C-section. She had several complications including a cleft palate and breathing difficulties. She was transported to another hospital after being worked on by a team of doctors and nurses for 4 hrs. She spent 3 months in the NICU, came home for one week and was back in hospital. This process was repeated several times. Long story short, she spent nearly 7 yrs. in and out of hospitals and had a total of 12 surgeries. We said our goodbyes multiple times. We were told she wouldn't live 5 minutes or 5 hours or five days let alone ever celebrate a birthday. Then, we were told she would never walk or talk or see or hear. After numerous doctors and specialists we never did learn why she didn't grow. She never did grow and took growth hormone injections every day for 15 years to help her grow even though her growth hormone was not abnormally low. At 2 years old she only weighed 10 lbs. She had a feeding tube and several issues to deal with. But, after years of therapy, shear determination, and provoking by her brothers, she did learn to walk and she began to hear and she began to talk and she began to see. She is a true miracle!!!
Today, she is 4'10" tall and weighs 92 lbs. She only sees 20/40 even with thick glasses and has no peripheral vision or depth perception. She runs track at Special Olympics. She lives for country music and sings like an angel! She has the IQ of a third grader and the social skills of perpetual 14year old teenage girl. She is loving and caring and nurturing and energetic. She dotes over her dog, Betsy, and she loves her family more than anything.

Alex C. is 16 years old, loves science, nature and video games. Since before he could walk Alex has loved books and learning. Alex has been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Much of the world still sees Alex as being "different". Alex’s family describes him as a funny kid with a dry sense of humor with a passion for drawing and artwork. Alex became an Eagle Scout at the age of 14, is a member of the Wylie High School Golf Team, and is a loving family member. According to Cindy, Alex’s mom “his life is different. It's like a roller coaster; up and down, twists and turns, scary and amazing, and we wouldn't want him any other way”.

Garrison the Great is 18 and loves animals and Mario Bros. He loves going to the zoo and learning every detail about any animal that ever lived. One of his favorite things to do is show his 8-month-old baby brother videos about animals or Mario Bros on YouTube. We love to listen to Garrison laugh and laugh at the silly things he watches.  Garrison graduated from high school in May of 2017 and now attends a special school where he is learning basic life skills like shopping, cooking, cleaning, and even working! He says that one day he wants to be a zookeeper and take care of animals which doesn't surprise any of us. Everyone who meets Garrison walks away feeling blessed. Garrison has autism but that doesn't change the amazing man he is growing up to be.

Bronson is 14 and going to High School this year. He loves to draw, write cartoon stories, go to Disneyland and California Adventure, the beach, do Crossfit and he loves to travel. Bronson loves Spongebob Squarepants he is a collector of anything Spongebob. He is growing into his role as “little brother” and it he is starting to give his brother and cousins a run for their money with his newfound attitude.