“Leadership is fighting through your own personal adversity to help other people make a difference in their lives.”
Brooke Ellison is one of the most inspiring people you’ll ever meet. She was hit by a car in 1990 at the age of 11 while she was on her way home from school. The accident left her paralyzed from the neck down and ventilator-dependent. Despite her physical situation, Brooke was determined to continue with her life. Her accomplishments have included honors in poetry, science, math, and literature.
What Makes Brooke an Extraordinary, Visionary Leader?
Brooke’s campaign is one founded on the positive difference we all can have on each other’s lives and the strides that can be made when people commit themselves to a goal. When Brooke is in the state senate, she will fight hard to create housing opportunities for all Long Islanders, ensure adequate funding for schools, develop feasible transportation solutions, secure open space and environmental protections, and ensure that New York State embraces the promise of stem cell research.
“She is a candidate of the utmost character and a nationally acclaimed champion for the underdog. She will be a worthy political star.” – Darren Johnson, The Integrity Party
While representing the 2nd District, Brooke promises to work on creating housing opportunities for Long Islanders who can’t afford to live in the neighborhoods they grew up in; ensure adequate funding for schools; develop feasible transportation solutions; secure open space and environmental protections; and to embrace the promise of stem cell research.
Perhaps her most notable accomplishment, Brooke graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University in 2000, ten years after her accident. She graduated with an A- average in cognitive neuroscience, a combined major of psychology and biology. She gave a commencement address for her Harvard graduation in June of 2000.
Brooke next graduated from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government with a Masters degree in Public Policy and has been enrolled in the Ph.D. program in political science at Stony Brook University.
Since her graduation from Harvard in 2000, Brooke has worked as a public speaker, delivering the message of hope and motivation, and strength in the face of obstacles. Her audiences have been many and diverse, as she has spoken to members of the medical community, business corporations, politicians, community members, students, and nonprofit organizations, traveling across the country to do so. Brooke’s recent and most notable engagements have included such opportunities as delivering a congressional briefing on stem cells, serving as commencement speaker, and participation in Bob Benia’s “Smart Talk” Women’s Speaker Series, which brought her to audiences in Cincinnati and Minneapolis. She has also spoken to groups in New Orleans, Washington, DC, Boston, Philadelphia, Hartford, CT, and New York City. Although the specific message differs from audience to audience, Brooke focuses her attention on hope and motivation, using her own experiences as a vehicle to convey the message.
In January, 2002, Brooke and her mother, Jean Ellison, published a book titled The Brooke Ellison Story, which documents their family’s experiences from the day of Brooke’s accident until their graduation from Harvard in 2000. The book was made into a movie, directed by Christopher Reeve, which aired on A&E in October, 2004.
Race Type: Democratic Challenge
Primary Opponent: None
Primary Date: September 12, 2006
Primary Election Results: Won Primary
General Opponent: Sen. John Flanagan
General Election Date: November 7, 2006
General Election Results: Loss, 41 – 59 percent