The seventh graders at Yeshivat Noam recently read and completed the novel Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper. It is the story of Melody, an 11 year old with Cerebral Palsy. The novel is beautifully written and covers the topics and themes of inclusion, friendship, courage, bravery and kindness. Since these are all such important messages to understand and to live by, the teachers decided to bring in a speaker who has Cerebral Palsey and could share first-hand his life experiences. On Thursday June 6th, 19 year old Zach Pollack of Passaic, New Jersey came to school to address the 7th graders in the Beit Knesset. He spoke open and honestly about his desire to be seen as a friend and not just a disabled person. He shared very powerful words of inspiration to the students about the importance of counting our blessings and appreciating the gifts we have been given. The personal narrative from Zach was surely impactful, memorable and inspirational to all the students and faculty that attended.