An inspirational speech at a year 10 formal night has given an insight into the challenges of living with a disability.
Karisma Robinson told the crowd at Monte Pio on Friday night that it was hard when people labelled her “different” and said “you don’t belong here”.
She made the comment during a thank you speech where she expressed her admiration for the people who came to help celebrate the milestone.
“It’s amazing how people wanted to be with people like me … In our group we’re always known as special, different,” she said.
“Now I see that people actually care.”
Karisma has an intellectual disability called IM and struggles to comprehend new information as quickly as her peers.
She used her speech to encourage the other students and urge them to believe in themselves.
“You’re not different to other people, you still have two eyes, you still have a heart,” she said.
She also told them not to worry about hurtful comments some people made.
“Don’t listen to those people, they don’t know what love is, they don’t know who you are,” she said.
The speech made her sister Skye shed a tear. She was incredibly proud.
“She had everyone absolutely in tears. I was in shock that she was such a good speaker on the microphone, she did such a great job,” Skye said.
Skye organised the event, with the help of a group of volunteers, after she learned a casual dinner – organised independently of the school, was the only celebration on offer for these students.
Eighteen students turned up to mark the occasion at Monte Pio on Friday night and they were dressed to impress.
“They were so well behaved and they all had a wonderful time. They all looked extremely good and it was a fantastic night,” Skye said.
The theme of the night was Under The Stars.
“The decorations were fantastic, there was a lot of gold and white and we had a nice photo backdrop where they could get photos,” she said.
“I am so thankful to everyone who helped, the community have been absolutely amazing, I can’t thank Monte Pio enough.”