The 5th annual NJCTS Tim Howard Leadership Academy took place at Rutgers University from August 2-5. The intensive four-day training promoted self-advocacy, self-leadership, resilience and grit-all important skills to succeed while living with Tourette Syndrome.
Created in 2014 in partnership with legendary goalkeeper and TS advocate Tim Howard, currently of the Colorado Rapids, the Academy is the only self-leadership program for teens diagnosed with TS in the nation. The 2018 class was made up of teens from Australia, Canada, California, Texas, Minnesota, Florida, New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Howard, a New Jersey native who was diagnosed with TS as a kid, surprised the teens by calling in to video chat with the group. During the 30 minute conversation, he fielded questions about everything from disclosing his TS publicly to his plans after retirement. He told them that in his mind, TS "chose me," so he has always accepted the disorder as a part of who he is.