Weston Girl Speaks Loudly For Disability Rights

Sabrina Guerra is a non-speaking autistic 10-year-old Weston girl.

But — like everyone — her life is far fuller and richer than a few dry facts.

Just over a year and a half ago, Sabrina began communicating by typing with one finger. She became a passionate advocate for disability rights.

Now she is one of 15 winners statewide, in Senator Chris Murphy’s 7th annual MLK Day essay challenge. 

Sabrina Guerra

Nearly 2,000 elementary, middle and high school students from across Connecticut reflected on King’s dream, and their own aspirations.

Sabrina has channeled all of her experiences into her writing. It is insightful, powerful and sophisticated.

In just 200 words — the essay limit — she teaches all of us about life, and our common humanity.

Sabrina wrote:

Martin Luther King Jr. aspired to bring peace and equality to an oppressed people. I share this dream. I am of a marginalized group fighting for our right to be heard, the right to define ourselves, and the right to belong. I am an autistic non-speaker and I’ve been subjected to mistreatment and segregation because of prejudice and ignorance. Like MLK Jr., I have an inextinguishable flame for justice.

Ableism is a damaging force in society, destroying souls and sowing division. Ableism looms over America’s education system, saturates our medical institutions, and shrouds our media. In my lived experience ableism usurped my right to an equal education. MLK Jr. made history by a tireless campaign toward progress. He refused his challengers’ insistence he and his people patiently wait for justice. As was right and bold then, our revolution is now. Disabled voices must be amplified over those who have no authority to speak for us, define us, nor deny us access.

On countless occasions my mind has sailed to feats of unyielding courage of Martin Luther King Jr. and his peers. Many stinging, similar offenses and parallel dreams tie my aspirations to their journeys and leadership. My advocacy is a fire that burns within my damaged yet proud and beautiful soul.

Sabrina Guerra, in the fall.

Sabrina and her fellow essay winners will be honored at a reception this Saturday.

Senator Murphy has agreed to chat with her. She looks forward to advocating for the disabled community, while she has his ear.

And her finger on the keyboard.

(Sabrina Guerra has a Facebook page, with 3,500 followers worldwide. Click here to see.)

(Senator Murphy says: “The best way to honor Dr. King is to continue his fight for equality and justice. Every year, I’m blown away and inspired by the thoughtful reflections on Dr. King’s legacy from students all across Connecticut. Their hope and determination should remind us all that young people are changing the world.” Click here for more information on his essay contest.)

(“06880” is proud to honor the accomplishments of youngsters in Westport, and our 06883 friends in Weston. Please click here to help us continue our work. Thank you!)


3 responses to “Weston Girl Speaks Loudly For Disability Rights

  1. Your essay, Sabrina, is extraordinary, moving and mighty impressive, coming from anyone, no less a 10 year old.
    A pleasure and an awakening to read.
    Thank you.

  2. Sabrina, you are a remarkable and beautiful young woman.

  3. Liza Pantschenko

    Put a small dog tag on your keys with your name and number.