For a boy with only 14 years of experience under his belt, Marques J. Semes from Flushing has a resolve that rivals someone much older. Semes is particularly passionate about helping others who suffer from Tourette Syndrome (TS). Already involved with the national Tourette Syndrome Association (TSA), Semes was chosen to train to become a teen ambassador at the fourth annual Tourette Syndrome (TS) Youth Ambassador Training Program in Washington, DC. The program, offered to teens ages 13-16 who may or may not have TS themselves, will be held March 29-31.
As a Youth Ambassador, Semes and his mother, Cheryl Tellis, will travel to our nation's capital to learn how to advocate for TS sufferers, make media appearances, meet with politicians and elected officials, and help with awareness campaigns. The goal of the program is to create an understanding and sensitivity toward people with TS by dispelling myths and stereotypes about the neurological disorder and its symptoms.
Semes applied for the program by writing an essay about determination. "I want to make life easier for people with Tourette Syndrome," says Semes, who was diagnosed with TS at age 7. "My essay was about how I'm determined to prove life with TS is not easy." His goal, he adds, is to bring the skills he learns at the conference back to his community.
For more information on TSA and its youth ambassador program, visit www.tsa-usa.org.