Sunday, October 4, 2009 - The Monroe Evening News, Monroe, MI - The Monroe Evening News, Monroe, MI:

"Now a 17-year-old 10th-grader who enjoys music, hanging out with friends and has ambitions to attend the University of Notre Dame, Kurtis is an international speaker who uses his life story to send a message that people like him can succeed if given the opportunity.

'My disability is a part that makes me be me,' he said. 'We don’t need prejudice here in Michigan.'

Kurtis has Williams Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that causes delayed speech, development delays and learning disorders. It is incurable and those who have it are largely misunderstood as not having the ability to retain information or learn, Mrs. Cunningham said.

During a guest appearance at the Monroe County Intermediate School District, Kurtis and his mother, who live in Holland on the west side of the state, used a computer during their presentation to help educators realize that those with disabilities sometimes need electronic assistance to excel and to be heard."

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