If one were to choose the qualities that a young woman might best rely upon for the journey into adulthood, those qualities might be self assurance, polish and grace - comprising the definition of "poise." Liza Patchel exudes poise in all she does - at home, in college and in her community where she works as a Red Cross volunteer. And so it seems ironic that poise can also be more literally defined as "a state of perfect physical balance," for Liza has cerebral palsy, "a disorder that affects one's ability to maintain one's balance." All we can say to that is, so much for definitions! Liza has rewritten the book.
Liza was diagnosed with cerebral palsy in infancy and began treatment at Kennedy Krieger when she was five. She attended Kennedy Krieger School from grades one through nine. There she was provided with the challenging academics she could certainly handle - for Liza is very bright - along with the physical, occupational, as well as the speech and language therapies that gave her the keys to achieve her academic potential. Building on this foundation, Liza went on to her community high school to become a member of the National Honor Society. She now has two years of college under her belt and is hoping to earn a degree in psychology to launch a career working with children with special needs. And those who know Liza have no doubt in their minds, it all will be done with poise.
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