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Self-Advocate Blog: Meet Poppy!

Meet Poppy!Poppy, a korean american person who has short hair and wears glasses, smiles at the camera

Poppy Sundquist is an active advocate, a member of the Self-Advocate Advisory Committee, a recurring guest as an advocate for Minnesota Regional Quality Council, and a part of an employment group. Poppy has also helped to support anything regarding disability advocacy, systemic change, and BIPOC advocacy with a disability focus. She has helped The Minnesota Arc with on videos around employment, working as a person with a disability, the Arc Gala, disability equity, and more. Poppy has been strong advocate for herself starting at 13 years old to now 43 years of age.

As a Korean-American who is bisexual/Pansexual, Poppy’s career and life has centered around promoting inclusion, equity, disability equity, and BIPOC equity, both in the workforce and the community. She has done this to help bring forth changes regarding the systemic issues that people with physical disabilities and intellectual disabilities face. More specifically issues people of the LGBTQIA+ community face being BIPOC and having intersectionality and disability.
Poppy is active in the disability community by volunteering her time with Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute–Golden Valley as the secondary instructor and senior student for martial arts program “Yong Gi”(Courage). She has volunteered for two years and has been part that program from it began in 1993. Poppy has also advocated for their programs and services. She has had the opportunity to speak at the Virtual Toast to Courage Gala 2021.

For three years Poppy has been Vice President of We Love To Play, a nonprofit organization providing recreational opportunities for disabled adults. She has been a participant and volunteered her time running the program, promoting the program in person and on social media for 25 years. The organization is now in its 26th year.

Poppy has been a Teaching Assistant(TA)–Regular Education with Saint Paul Public Schools District #625 for 21 years, working in Pre-K for seven years and Kindergarten for 14 years. She has over 280 hours of educational training related to the job and regularly attends trainings even if not mandatory. Poppy has worked at Eastern Heights, Prosperity Heights, Mississippi Creative Arts, and is currently at Obama Elementary. Her prior employment includes New Horizon Academy-Eastside Saint Paul and Northwest YMCA Childcare in Shoreview, Minnesota.

Poppy is an education graduate from Irondale High School. She attended post-secondary college Junior/Senior year and class at Century College for Child Development. She attended the transition program at Career Life Transition in Roseville and attended Century College again for Child Development acquiring 24 credits, while living on her own, graduating in1999. Poppy then attended Inver Hills Community College for more education in Child Development through St. Paul Public Schools. She completed the ParaPro Test to certify that she is a qualified TA, continued her job through the direct school and school district.

Poppy has spastic quadriplegia cerebral palsy and is hard-of-hearing (HOH). She enjoys running up to seven miles daily, is a self-proclaimed gym rat and goes to the gym daily. She loves food eating, cooking, baking and is gluten free along with being dairy free.

Thanks for sharing, Poppy!

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