Daily Point of Light # 3094 Dec 14, 2005

Disability has never been a stumbling block for Becki Forsell, despite the fact that she lost her sight some years ago. In fact, she makes a point of stating exactly the opposite. Forsell believes people with disabilities are not a problem to be fixed but that they want to be part of the solution. Forsell embodies this as founder and Executive Director of YES! of America United, Inc. She spends her days encouraging volunteer service and community outreach to those with disabilities . Her work also promotes mentoring, tutoring, peer supports and activities, in which she takes great pleasure.

In addition to this, Forsell served as the Chair of Grassroots of Hillsborough County. In this capacity, Forsell networked citizens for volunteer opportunities, among other things. As a member of the real Choice Partnership, a program in the Governor’s Americans with Disability Act Working Group, she follows her passion and dedication all the way to the state legislature. There, she impacts decisions made for those living with disabilities statewide. The Tampa Mayor’s Alliance , the Hillsborough county Alliance for Citizens with Disabilities and the Task Force for the Church and Disability all claim Forsell as an active member that continues to give back not only with her time at conferences, lectures, and volunteer projects, but also with her positive attitude, her leadership capability, and her unrivalled example of survival. She is effective as a volunteer and comes to serve with a smile and an infectious laugh.

Forsell’s work helps to fill a large gap in her community. Before Forsell and YES! there were limited opportunities for those with disabilities to help give back to their communities. This not only shut off an extremely valuable recourse, but it kept those who were disabled as victims and beneficiaries of other’s charity. Forsell helps everyone realize that this is not the way to look at things. She strongly advocates independence and empowerment for those who have had rare opportunities to cultivate these characteristics. Those involved in YES! and other projects with Becki are also united by a common bond and become a part of a large network of people all communicating and working together thanks to Forsell. Her methods are unique, her time commitment enormous and the outreach beneficial for everyone involved. This past year she is honored to have been recognized by her community and now the federal government for her volunteering, but she cherishes her award of the Alan P. Wesley Award, during her graduation from the Developmental Disability Partner’s in Policy Making program. This award is presented to the class member exemplifying leadership and partnership, which is award to her by her peers.