This month we are learning more about our Self Advocate Advisory Board (SAAB) member, Brigid Rankowski. Brigid is a disability advocate, writer, artist, and fire spinner and breather. Along with seven other women, Brigid joined our SAAB last year and we are thrilled to have her guidance and support.
Bio: Brigid Rankowski is a disability advocate and performer located in Maine. She works with the Maine Teaching Artist Leadership Initiative to help teachers and professionals learn how to better educate students with disabilities by using different artistic methods. She also heads the education committee for the Autism Society of Maine, helping to create new material for her state. She continues to work as a disability advocate at the state and local level with a vested interest in women’s issues, LGBTQA issues, and promotion of the arts as a creative outlet as well as a career path. In her free time she breathes fire.
What excites you most about joining the Felicity House Self Advocacy Advisory Board?
I am so excited about spreading the awareness of Felicity House as it is a wonderful space I think so many people will benefit from.
What advice would you give your younger self?
The biggest piece of advice I would tell myself is to not try too hard to make friendships with those people who treat me poorly. There will be many people who can see how amazing you are that won’t ask you to be put in uncomfortable situations because they already like you as a person.
What do you embrace most about your autism diagnosis?
For me, I embrace my ability to create grand plans by thinking outside the box. I have been able to do amazing things because the thought of limitations stopping me never crossed my mind.
Who inspires you and why?
I’m inspired by my peers who constantly are chasing their dreams and working on improving themselves as well as improving the world around them. I’m in awe at some of the people in my life who do dream big and work towards those dreams.
Who is your favorite fictional character?
This is VERY difficult. If I had to choose only one character, my choice would be River Tam from the short lived TV show Firefly. She’s a very complicated person with a past who tries her best to live her life. She’s a strong woman who has been through so much, yet has not let the past harden her which I very much admire.
Maine Fun Fact: Maine produces 99% of all the blueberries in the country making it the single largest producer of blueberries in the United States. Also, nearly 90% of the nation’s lobster supply is caught off the coast of Maine.