It’s Brett Robinson and his smile will light up a room if you look him in the eye when you say it.
Brett has trouble communicating verbally, so he uses a computer, mounted on his wheelchair, to express himself.
Here’s what he had to say at Generation XX in Summerside recently.
“Thanks to this wheelchair I can communicate and share with all of you. Let me brighten your day as I live my life.
“I am Brett. That is right. I got a name.”
Brett is one of four young people participating in a new video being produced by Easter Seals P.E.I.
It’s an effort to get young people engaged with Easter Seals and to hopefully get them involved, said Tina Mundy, a Rotarian and part of the organizing committee for this year’s campaign.
“This year we took a look at what we do well and we took a look at maybe where we needed to improve,” said Mundy. “Easter Seals, over the years, has done very well in reaching elementary schools… but we haven’t quite cracked that junior high/high school market yet.”
During the last federal election comedian and commentator Rick Mercer devoted one of his “rants” to challenging young people to get out and vote.
As a result, a lot of young people started posting their own “rant” videos encouraging each other to pick up on Mercer’s message.
Mundy said the Rotary committee wanted to do something similar by making a “rant” video and encouraging students in each Island school to rally around the Easter Seals representative.
The video was shot one night last week at Summerside’s Generation XX.
Joining Brett for the shoot were Paxton Cole, Colton Matheson and Hunter Ellis.
The kids suggested if the “rant” was put to music it might be received better, so it was made into a rap, added Mundy.
The students are encouraged to make their own videos and to upload them to YouTube and www.eastersealspei.org. The video made at Generation XX will also be available there early this week.
The kids really seemed to take ownership of the video, said Mundy, and she’s hoping it will do the same for more kids.
“We at down and we were interviewing them and we asked ‘what Easter Seals means to them’,” she added.
“The common theme was inclusion, all of the kids said it means a lot to be just included with their peer group.
“One of the boys, Brett, said that although (inclusion) was very important, he didn’t want to be known as ‘the boy in the wheelchair.’ He said, ‘I got a name.’
“That struck a cord with us.”