Jordan Oubre, a junior at Brusly High School, boarded his first plane to travel to Washington D.C. a few weeks ago to represent Louisiana as our Teen Advocate at the Teens Speak Up! Policy Conference hosted by Epilepsy Foundation of America.
The annual conference is the national office’s signature advocacy initiative, serving as a national program that trains young ambassadors living with epilepsy, between the ages of 13 to 17 years old, to become advocates in their local communities and in Washington D.C. Each youth advocate personally petitions congressional leaders for aid ensuring improved and better access to care, increased public awareness and additional support for epilepsy education, all to generate more research toward finding a cure.
Jordan doesn’t remember a time before he had epilepsy, he was diagnosed in kindergarten, but he says it has never gotten in his way. He is not shy at all, which made him a great advocate when it came to talking to our politicians about his experiences and why epilepsy advocacy was so important. “I was definitely not nervous to talk with senators and legislators and felt they were very attentive, so I tried to make the most of my time with each one,” says Jordan.
“It was awesome getting to see the sights and history for the first time in D.C. I was able to meet other kids with different kinds of epilepsy from all over the country and learned a lot. I realized how lucky I am that my epilepsy is controlled and I am able to play football as long as I take care of myself. It was a great experience. I actually made close friends that I’ve talked to every day since,” Jordan adds.
When he’s not hanging out with friends or spending time with family, Jordan eats, sleeps and breathes football. He plays middle linebacker and halfback wing for the varsity team at Brusly High and loves it. He is very much looking forward to senior year and the freedom it brings. He is not sure what his plans are after for graduation, but has options and knows he will figure it out. After seeing him work his magic on Capitol Hill, we think he might have a future in politics!
Jordan and his family have participated in our upcoming 5K, Seize the Day, since 2011 and are gearing up and fundraising hard for this year’s event. After his experience in D.C., Jordan (who is three years seizure free and takes medication daily) understands now more than ever how important raising awareness for epilepsy is and encourages everyone to join us or donate so that we can one day live in a world free of seizures.