“Every Person Has Unique Abilities to Share”
“I started this library to help every person feel important”
Brennan has already collected almost 100 books!
Northstar Academy’s Cindy Culley and Crystal Trent with Brennan
“Brennan, through her Discovering Abilities book project, embodies the vision of Northstar Academy to empower students to develop and value their diverse abilities. She has helped cultivate a community where people of all abilities thrive!”
—Crystal Trent, the Head of School at Northstar Academy
It takes courage for anyone of any age to step up and say “I have an idea that I’d like to try”, to follow through on that idea and to create something that makes a real difference. We applaud Brennan for doing just that and all at the age of seventeen.
That makes Brennan our first entry in what we hope will be a long series called Everyday Heroes.
Do you know an Everyday Hero?
Let’s talk with Brennan:
Why did you decide to create a Discovering Abilities Library?
Brennan happily receiving and organizing the many donated books and videos.
Did you reach out to others for help to put it all together?
What was the hardest part in getting started?
The hardest part at first was finding books because these libraries don’t exist. There are a lot of great books out there celebrating the achievements of people with disabilities, but at first, we had a hard time finding them.
Once I sent out the surveys, I loved seeing all of the recommendations and we found more and more! My favorite part was getting all the packages with books in them!
We did find a lot of articles and Northstar is going to use the books and those articles in its teaching to have each student find articles and keep this idea going.
“Brennan exemplifies that when barriers are removed for a student with a disability, she can leverage her abilities and a leader and influencer emerges.”
—Cindy Culley, Director of Admissions at Northstar Academy
“I hope this library inspires everyone to be the best that they can be.”
What is your favorite book or video from your list?
History is one of my favorite subjects so I like all of the books about historical figures. Some of my favorites are Harriett Tubman, Juliette Gordon Low and Helen Keller. They all overcame disabilities to change the world.
I am excited to read many of the books in the library and can’t wait to read “The Lady is a Spy” about a World War II spy who had a prosthetic leg.
What do your friends and family think about your “Discovering Abilities” Library?
Brennan with her cockapoo named Piper!
“Our daughter, Brennan, is always looking for the best in people. For her Girl Scout Gold Project, it was important to her that her project teach her school friends what other kids with challenges did to help the world. She combined her love of history, reading and helping others to create her library.
As a parent of a child with special needs, it inspired us that she wanted herself and others to be their best. Seeing the immediate support from so many of her friends, our friends and family reminded us of the love she generates and how one child with an idea to help can inspire … it brings me to tears that through her project she modeled and lived her library goal of showing how someone can overcome challenges to make the world better.
We have heard from so many people that Brennan’s library has inspired them to be better people and that she called their attention to see the world through her eyes and find these inspiring stories. One friend shared, “Brennan’s work is so important in showing how we are all differently abled people!” We are so proud of her library and hope all schools start teaching her message.”
—Brennan’s Parents, Dan and Amy
Do you think every school should have a “Discovering Abilities” Library?
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Print a Copy of Brennan’s Book List
“Brennan has truly taken the seed of an idea and made it a reality. When she first asked me to be her advisor, I accepted without knowing what the project would entail. She came to me later and said ” I want to make a library for everyone to be able to find out about disabilities” and it blew me away. Brennan has always been a compassionate young lady but the amount of effort she put into finding a book for everyone is inspiring. This idea and students like Brennan are the reason I love my job!”
—Lauren Pastore, Teacher at Norhtstar and Brennan’s Faculty Advisor for her Gold Project
Hey Brennan, what makes you laugh?
Funny jokes, movies
Do you have a pet?
I have a cockapoo named Piper!
Which is your favorite…Cake, Pie or Ice Cream?
Want to help?
Join Brennan in supporting Northstar Academy
Know an Everyday Hero?
Someone who gives of themselves for the greater good of others?
Someone who is helpful, inspirational or courageous? Young, old, furry, individuals, groups …
Tell us about them!
Lisa Rogers takes the steps to rid her home of plastic liquid soap bottles… and, boy, does it feel good!
Anne Cochran’s honesty is so refreshing in her article on how a parent’s involvement in the high school life of their teen is crucial for success!
Felice Mancini, President of the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation and daughter of the famed composer Henry Mancini, shares with Jean Trebek the gift of music that MHOF gives to students across the country.