Cosimo's story an inspiration for all our Students

Cosimo Sinatra, Mauldin High Student, to be Recognized by Greenville County Disabilities and Special Needs Foundation

Greenville, SC – On Thursday, October 16, Mauldin High School Student Cosimo Sinatra will be recognized as Student of the Year at this year's Triumph of the Human Spirit Awards sponsored by the Greenville County Disabilities and Special Needs Foundation.

 (The Following Was Written by Lisa Smith, Mauldin High Special Education Teacher)

“Cosimo Sinatra is among a small group of the bravest and brightest individuals I have ever had the pleasure to know.  Cosimo knows he has a disability, but does not define himself by his disability.  He executes himself as a generous and courageous young man, full of kindness.  His gentle mannerisms touch everyone he comes in contact with. I have watched Cosimo touch the lives and hearts of so many as he serves his community – he doesn’t help because he has to as part of our curriculum, he serves with open eyes and an open heart.  There are few adults I’ve witnessed who embrace and support humanity with the passion, and compassion, that Cosimo Sinatra exudes.I’ve watched Cosimo work with our senior citizens at the NHC nursing home.  I’ve watched him support our children at Washington Center through hand over hand instruction during art class.  I’ve watched Cosimo support his classmates, coaching them through difficult times, through bouts of anger and tears.To promote tolerance, I’ve watched Cosimo talk to both, his peers and younger students, about what it’s like to have a disability. I’ve watched Cosimo, during Bethel Elementary’s Disability Day, empathize with younger students with disabilities, lending his ear and offering words of wisdom to encourage self-esteem and promote self-worth.One of the most remarkable things about Cosimo Sinatra is how unremarkable he is, or appears to be.  When you meet Cos, you see an average, normal, everyday teenager.  He is often aloof, terribly unorganized, irresponsible at times, and makes your average teenage mistakes.
 What folks don’t see when they meet Cos is his disability.  You won’t see a child who takes three different medications a day, and will for the rest of his life, in order to live.  You don’t see a child who has to go to the nurse to have his blood pressure taken twice a week because of severe hypertension.  You don’t see a child with only one kidney, and you have no idea that the single kidney he has functions at less than 30 percent.  You don’t see a child who spent his early childhood years in and out of hospitals due to complications related to a premature delivery at 25 weeks.You only see what Cosimo Sinatra sees when he looks in the mirror.  You see what I see; a young man, grateful for what he has and eager to give to those less fortunate… always willing to lend a helping hand…. happy to wake up each day and eager to spend time with friends and family.

When you look at Cosimo Sinatra you see a true triumph of the human spirit—and you see no student more worthy of the honor as Student of the Year.”