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Arc of Madison Cortland Member Honored by State for Self-Advocacy

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(Photo: Arc of Madison Cortland)

A local self-advocate’s been honored by the state for her commitment and contributions to self-advocacy.

Arc of Madison Cortland board member Michelle Wolfe was named the 2020 recipient of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Self-Advocacy Award by the Self-Advocacy Association of New York State.

Wolfe is also a longtime member of the Madison County Motivators, where she advocates for herself and others with disabilities on a daily basis.

”I grew up being told what to do, how to do it and when to do it,” Wolfe said. “I was an adult when I learned that I had a voice. People started listening to me and suddenly my life changed.”

Today, Michelle drives herself to her three jobs in a car that she purchased herself. She also pays her rent and bills for her apartment where she lives independently with her dog, Paige, and is also saving to buy a house.

Ralph Collins is one of Michelle’s staff through Self-Direction and commented on what motivates her on a daily basis:

“Michelle keeps moving forward, never forgetting where she was.”

For more information about the Madison County Motivators contact Bonnie VanDusen at or look for
them on Facebook.

You can also learn more about Self-Direction at The Arc of Madison Cortland by contacting Meredith Mertens at or by calling (315) 363-3389.

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