Nicole Flynn from Madoc is really going places – all the way to the Office of the Prime Minister of Canada, in fact.
Last week, Nicole joined MP Mike Bossio for a meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in his historic Centre Block office.
“Meeting the Prime Minister was a dream come true, I was ecstatic,” said Flynn. “I didn’t know what to say. The Prime Minister looked right at me. He did not treat me like I was invisible. He knows that I have a difference but he treated me equal to everyone else. I look up to Prime Minister Trudeau because he encouraged me. I know I have to start with my education so that I can get up to where I want to be for my career and he encouraged me.”
As a person with Down Syndrome, Nicole advocated for the meeting in order to present the Prime Minister with a poem she has written called “I Am Not Invisible,” which she had presented to Bossio earlier.
“I don’t make many meeting requests of the Prime Minister since he has such a busy schedule, but I really wanted to come through for Nicole on this meeting,” said Bossio. “I met with Nicole earlier this year and she impressed me so much with her strength, dedication, and tenacity.”
Nicole has been interested in politics for quite some time, and has ideas of her own to contribute, which quickly becomes clear in discussions with her.
“If I had more time I would have liked to tell the Prime Minister that I support a change to our electoral system to give smaller parties an opportunity to get a seat and to be heard. Maybe there could be a Disability Party,” suggested Flynn.
Flynn’s goal is to become a senator someday, but she believes that it is not fair that “the rule for people applying to be a senator says the individual must own a piece of land.” She points out that since she has a disability, she “cannot own land or I will lose my Ontario Disability Support Program benefits.”
Bossio pointed out that “Nicole instantly makes a good impression. I know that with her hard work ethic she will go far. If she sets her mind to it, the possibilities are endless.”
I Am Not Invisible by Nicole Flynn
People talk to me as if I am a child…
I am an adult,
Look in my eyes and talk to me as an adult.
People talk to me as if my feelings don’t matter
I feel things,
I hurt inside when things happen.
People won’t even let me try
I want the chance to try,
I might make mistakes; I will keep trying.
People do not see me; they treat me like I am invisible
I am here,
I want people to look at me.
People tell me what to do all of the time
I can make decisions,
I am able to think for myself.
People treat me like a non-person
I am a human being,
I am not a mistake.