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Academy Award Winner Marlee Matlin speaks at St. Philips 14th Annual Destiny Awards Luncheon!

St. Philips School and Community Center is one of the schools that I’ve attended and hold dear to my heart. I would say that St. Philips was the pinnacle turning point to my development and my “Success is my right - failure my option” attitude. I was elated to have the opportunity to sit during the Fourteenth Annual Destiny Awards Luncheon hosted by John McCaa from our local WFAA News Channel with special guest speaker Academy Award Winning actress Marlee Matlin best known for her performance in Children of a Lesser God.

The program included students as young as the Pre K2 class (yes, Pre K2) welcoming Marlee Matlin with a special version of the St. Philips Creed by performing it in sign language while Principal, Ms. Barjon recited aloud.

St. Philip’s alum, Evan White who’s currently a senior in high school and has acceptance letters from many prestigious colleges (he’s still waiting on more he mentioned) spoke about his trip to China. The ups, the downs and challenges he faced and how he overcame them. Destiny Award recipients include Nancy Ann, Ray L. Hunt, David Timothy also known as “The Soupman”, Circle Ten Council: Boy Scouts of America and the Omni Hotel Dallas have all exceeded their expectations in helping St. Philips.

Finally, Marlee Matlin took to the stage to deliver a funny yet intriguing story about her childhood and being a deaf child. She mentioned that her parents made sure to not use her disability as a “handicap” but make Marlee aware that she is just like other children and to not be ashamed of her loss of hearing. Because of this she essentially went on to acting when those said that she could not, and even winning a very prestigious award although critics feel like she did not deserve it. Delivering a powerful message to a room with well over 200 people in attendance the message to me was be aware and comfortable with the person that you are. Overcome your weaknesses and use them as strengths.

I would personally like to thank Dr. Flowers, Ms. Barjon and Ms. Hall for taking care of me at the event.

Oh and Hi Ms. McClure! You’re still the best music teacher ever and looking fabulous!

For more information on St. Philips please visit: http://www.stphilips1600.org/

More photos at Facebook.com/TheVannaCollinsShow

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