These are the words that MSU alumnus, Cameron Francek discloses when approaching people as part of his 100stutterProject. He has contacted at least one new person each day since mid-February, briefly informing them about stuttering and striving to eliminate any misconceptions they have about the speech disorder.
The National Stuttering Association (NSA) indicates that stuttering affects about one percent of the population and that there is no known cause or cure.
Many people who have never heard Francek speak jump to conclusions, which is what has driven him to pursue this project. He gives each person he speaks to a link to his blog and a sheet of paper explaining common misconceptions about stuttering.Once a month, Francek also meets with a support group in Royal Oak to discuss the struggles that come with stuttering and share experiences with others who stutter.
“It’s not ‘I have a stutter,’ it’s not ‘I’m a stutterer,’ it’s ‘I’m a person who stutters,’ ” he said.
Francek is a 2009 MSU graduate with a B.A. in Communicative Sciences and Disorders (CSD) and has been invited to present at the NSA’s conference in Arizona this year.
He now attends Oakland University studying actuarial science and works as a servicing specialist at United Shore Financial Services.
While at MSU he was an active member of Pi Kappa Alpha, worked at a sorority, played intramural sports and thoroughly enjoyed his CSD program. The common factor in all of his activities was people.
“The MSU community was such an accepting and supportive place. I wouldn't trade my time in East Lansing for anything. I urge the MSU community to continue to support each other, practice acceptance, be kind and help ensure every student has the experience I did,” said Francek.
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