Marisa Gould, a 13-year-old student at Western Hills Middle School, was accompanied by her family as she met with Mayor Allan Fung on May 17.
She has been selected by the Epilepsy Foundation New England, and later by the national Epilepsy Foundation, as the Rhode Island teen advocate and field coordinator.
She advocated for an Epilepsy Awareness Day to be proclaimed in Cranston when she spoke with Fung, and the mayor said city officials are working on a date to do so. Epilepsy is the third most common neurological disorder in the United States.
This past March, Gould visited Washington, D.C., to spread awareness. While there, she participated in the national Walk to End Epilepsy on March 27 on the National Mall.
She also attended the Teens Speak Up & Public Policy Institute conference, which culminated on March 30 with each state’s teen advocates meeting with their respective federal legislators to advocate for epilepsy research fundraising, and to share their personal experiences of living with epilepsy.
Gould additionally advocated for all school personnel to be educated by the Epilepsy Foundation of New England about the disorder’s affect on learning and to be instructed in epilepsy first aid.
As a trained advocate, Gould is now asked to participate in a Year of Service program in her home district.