Ivan's American Dream - Finalist in National Disability Institute's American Dream Contest

Uploaded by RealEconomicImpact on 02.09.2010

>> Hi. My name is Ivan Shutinya.
I'm 29 years old and I have severe cerebral palsy, which has resulted
in a spastic quadriplegia and I'm here to talk to you today about my American dream.
When I was 10 years old, I was watching the swearing-in ceremony
for Associate Justice Clarence Thomas,
and I noticed that there was an African-American Supreme Court Justice
and there was a woman Supreme Court Justice, but there were no justices in wheelchairs.
And I turned to my mother who was watching with me at the time,
and I said to her that it was my dream
to become the first U.S. Supreme Court Justice in a wheelchair.
And from that moment on, that became my dream.
I then went through the Maryland Public School System,
elementary school, middle school, high school.
There were some challenges along the way as when I started school,
it was in the very early days of the ADA.
And in fact, I was one of the first people with disabilities mainstreamed
in Baltimore County, Maryland where I lived.
But I did surmount those challenges and went on to go to college at St. Mary's College
of Maryland where I was a NTSA scholar and graduated magna cum laude.
I went on to the University Of Maryland School Of Law, where I graduated in December of 2006
and received the William Cunningham Award for service and excellence to the law school.
I passed the Bar and was admitted to the Bar in June of 2007, and decided that in order
to make it to the United States Supreme Court, I needed to be more active in public life.
My first foray into that will be a run for the Baltimore County Orphan's Court,
where I will be on the ballot as a candidate this November.
I'm very hopeful that this will be my first step on my journey to become a Justice
of the United States Supreme Court.
Thank you.