Juban Parc Elementary Student Wins “Yes I Can” Award

Juban Parc Elementary Student Wins “Yes I Can” Award
Posted on 01/09/2019
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Juban Parc Elementary Student Wins “Yes I Can” Award


DENHAM SPRINGS, La. – Carson Tullier knows he’s different from his classmates at Juban Parc Elementary.  Just ask him.


He will quickly show you that he only has two fingers on each hand and that his arms are shorter than normal.  Tullier was born with a rare form of Skeletal Dysplasia that prevented his arms and hands from properly developing.   


Tullier, an 8-year-old third grader, has embraced his condition and uses it as a platform to teach others that it’s ok to look different, and that they too can overcome whatever their issue or struggle might be.


“Carson’s impairment causes him to do things a little bit different than other kids, like holding his pencil or participating in PE activities; but he figures out how to get it done without complaining and without offering excuses,” Adapted Physical Education Instructor Lisa Dugas said. 


“But that’s not the most amazing thing,” Dugas said, “It’s how, despite his obvious differences, he makes sure there is no awkwardness with others.  There are no uncomfortable questions with him.  He willingly and openly talks about his differences and quickly puts others at ease.”


“Carson (Tullier) has a determination this is not seen often.  One would expect a child with a disability such as his might be shy around people, but this amazing boy is not,” said Charlene Lily, the district’s Federal Program Director and a former counselor at Juban Parc Elementary.


Elementary Curriculum Supervisor Shanna Steed said Tullier is an inspiration to so many.  Steed said she met Tullier during her first year as principal at Juban Parc Elementary – the same year, he enrolled at the school.    


“I will never forget walking into the cafeteria and seeing him opening a milk carton for a student, or the time that he was helping a student tie his shoes,” Steed said.  “There are no obstacles too big for him!”


That determination and charismatic spirit have won over the hearts of his friends, family and teachers, and now the hearts – and votes – of judges for the Louisiana “Yes I Can” Awards Committee.  Tullier has been awarded the competition’s top prize in the category of self-advocacy, advancing him to compete in the national “Yes I Can” competition.


“I can’t believe I won.  This is the best day of my life,” Tullier exclaimed after being surprised by his parents, teachers and fellow students during a special ceremony on Tuesday (Jan. 8) at Juban Parc Elementary.  He cheered with his classmates and then entertained them with a display of break dancing when the music “You’re a Rock Star” streamed into the room.


His father and step-mother, Cody and Stehpania Seals, proudly stood by during the celebration.  “Carson is such a great kid.  We are so proud of him,” Stehpania Seals said.


The “Yes I Can” Awards are sponsored by the Council for Exceptional Children.  The awards recognize children and youth with exceptionalities who have demonstrated their determination and achievement in multiple ways.  The “Yes I Can” Awards review committee selects one winner each year in each of the following categories:  academics, arts, school and community activities, self-advocacy, technology and transition.

Since the inception of the program in 1982, more than 40,000 children and young adults nationwide have been recognized.

JPES Yes I Can
Eight-year-old Carson Tullier dances to the music “You’re a Rock Star” as his father, Cody Seals, looks on during the surprise announcement celebration organized by the teachers and students at Juban Parc Elementary.  Tullier is this year’s Louisiana winner of the “Yes I Can” Award. He is recognized for his determination and positive and generous personality in living with physical differences caused by Skeletal Dysplasia.

JPES Yes I Can

Juban Parc Elementary Student Carson Tullier “high fives” his classmates during a surprise announcement celebration at the school to recognize Tullier receiving this year’s “Yes I Can” Award.  As a state winner in the self-advocacy category, Tullier will advance to the national competition, which will be judged this spring.

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