GROTON -- Though she stands just 4 feet 1 inch tall, Becky Curran has done big things in life.
From working in the entertainment business to becoming a motivational speaker, Curran said her goal in everything she has done is to send a message about understanding and inclusion.
Curran spoke to students at Groton-Dunstable Regional Middle School Friday morning to help them understand the importance of treating all people equally, no matter their differences.
Her presentation had three messages for students: ask questions, don't make assumptions; give us a chance, not a break; and everybody is capable of achieving everything.
"That point is that we're people just like everyone else and we can accomplish the same things anyone else can," Curran said. "We may need to try harder, we may need a stool sometimes, we may need a little help, but that's okay."
Curran, who is originally from Boston, said she has never let her differences hold her back, participating in soccer, skiing, sailing and swimming as a student.
"We all just want to be part of the team because we all bring a different asset to the team," Curran said.
After graduating from Providence College, where she studied marketing, Curran decided to move across the country to start a career in the entertainment business.
She said that by doing so, she hoped to inspire change in how little people are portrayed in movies and television.
"The media has such an influence on how we're treated in society, and I really wanted to get to the bottom of that," Curran said.
When she got to Los Angeles and found out that the job she had planned on taking had fallen through at the last minute, Curran said she refused to give up. She sent out more than 1,000 resumes and went on 100 interviews, despite being turned down time after time.
"They would block me out from the moment I walked in the door," she said. "They wouldn't even be willing to hear my story or to hear my experience."
Eventually, she was hired by Creative Artists Energy. Since then she has worked in entertainment marketing, casting and touring. She began her career as a public speaker one year ago.
Although she's been asked many times if she would change her height if she could, she said that she would not.
"I just want to change the way people react to my difference," she said.
She hopes that through her speaking, she can encourage schools to accommodate little students by installing things like handrails and soap dispensers that are lower to the ground.
"It is fun to stand out, but it's important for the outside world to adapt to us as well and to make it easier for us," she said.
As an adult, Curran also became involved with Little People of America, which she credits with helping her meet friends who were similar to her.
"Until we can all separate ourselves from any type of groups, we need these groups to support us," Curran said.
Curran encouraged the students at Groton-Dunstable to treat everyone with respect no matter their differences, and to ask questions to truly get to know people.
"People just have these assumptions in their mind and then they run with it," Curran said.
"I encourage you to keep an open mind and share stories about your differences, whether you can see it or not, because we can all find more similarities than we think," she said.
Principal Steven Silverman said the assembly carried an important message that he tries to impart on his students every year.
"Each year I schedule an assembly for Disability Awareness Month to make students aware that even though you may be different, you can accomplish great things in life if you have the motivation, willpower and determination," Silverman said.
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