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Partners in Policymaking helping Northlanders

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PROCTOR, MN-- Being an advocate for yourself isn't always easy.

"It takes a lot of work. And this class just shows you how much work it takes," says Sam Haus who has a disability.

That class Haus speaks about, Partners in Policymaking.

The leadership program is for those living with disabilities and families.

Katie Godden's 15-year-old son is on the Autism spectrum.

She took her first class in 2019.

"You go to the Cities once a month, for eight weeks. It is a Friday Saturday class. You go and you learn how to be a better advocate and what resources are available to you," says Godden.

For Godden and her friend Kim Seguin, the program has opened doors for how to better support their kids.

Kim Seguin's 16-year-old son is also on the Autism spectrum, she got involved in Partners after seeing what Godden had learned.

"I think that Partners is empowering, it gives you the tools that you need to be able to maybe contact your representatives, your senators. Just learning about the different resources that are out there, that is just incredible what you don't know," says Seguin.

"I want to be a better advocate for my son, also to teach him how to do it. My main goal is inclusion, to make sure every person is treated the same and has the same opportunities," says Godden.

As someone living with a disability, Haus says this program has made a positive difference in her life.

"All that information we bring it back and we can help our community a lot better. I would totally reccomend this. If they want to be a better self advocate and totally for parents who have children with dissabilities."

Those involved say these classes are a step in the right direction to making sure everyone is treated equally.

Godden says, "We're not there yet, we have a long way to go. "

For more information click here.

Photos Courtesy: Kim Seguin, Katie Godden, and Sam Haus
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Emma Quinn

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