Founder, Veronica Martinez has always and will always be an advocate for the disability community. Curently working as a contributing writer for a SAMHSA funded workbook about Family Leaders through the University of Texas at Austin. Family Leadership, in the mental health world, is an individual that looks beyond advocacy for their own family and begins the process of looking to influence their community, especially in terms of better services for children or individuals with mental health needs. The concept of looking beyond ones own family interests and recognizing that the testimony to their journey can absolutely influence a larger community is the exact premise behind Better Beehive Project. This is empowerment for the benefit of others, for the benefit of a Better Beehive.
The process of becoming a family leader can be difficult especially if there is experiences of their voice being ignored. For example, recently the mother of a son that was school-aged and wore braces on his legs left a sting for her sons school, with fierceness she wrote of her sons experience of being non-verbal and noticing that an aid continued to tie his braces too tight and after numerous warnings he was left with permanent scars on his legs. As she recalled their experience she felt helpless that after going to the principal and other officials, her son was not even given an apology. Due to how her voice was disregarded and the needs of her son neglected she was to say the least skeptical that her voice would matter. Why would anyone care, no one has ever cared before? But given a tiny glimmer that her sons story would help another mother or boy like her son she left a sting for the school. As humans we want for our story to touch the broader landscape, we want for our voice to be productive among all of the voices. This mother is a family leader, her resilience to hope for change is the reason why we exist.
Her voice, her sons experience can absolutely influence how our world interacts with individuals that have a disability. All too often negative or positive experiences remain silent in our hearts and memories. We feel the buzz of a positive experience, something as simple or small as a waitress smiling and addressing a child with a disability directly letting them know that she sees them. And it can sting, really sting, heart breaking when our
child or selves are rejected, neglected or left to feel as though our voice, our experience does not matter. The ability to be a family leader or leader is within us all and Better Beehive Project is here to capture your voice and as we grow in numbers our voice will become increasingly more difficult for the world to ignore. The mother that felt so helpless and silent can now have us all behind her and she can know with all of her heart that she is part of this hive, and that we are better together.