September is one of my favorite months of the year! Fall weather, the leaves changing (which I missed most of my life growing up in Texas), and of course, there is the reveal of the I-ASC Spellebrities! This year, our second year, I was thrilled to see another familiar name on the list. I was lucky enough to meet Isaiah Tien Grewel at Growing Kids Therapy Center during Motormorphosis back in 2019, and to say I’m a fan would be an understatement. I look forward to seeing updates from his mom on Facebook of all of his amazing accomplishments, so seeing him as one of our Ambassador Spellebrites was no surprise to me. Isaiah was described as being “The Tireless,” which from what I know of this accomplished young man is absolutely true! I got a chance to interview Isaiah, and I’m thrilled to share our conversation with you all, so you, too can get to know him better! ~Kelly Berg
Kelly: What is the biggest unsung contribution you think spellers bring to the world? Tell us about it.
Isaiah: The biggest unsung contribution I think spellers bring to the world is our role in showing each person’s worth as God’s creation. Although so many things about us involve supports and needs often considered too extra, anyone who gets to know the real us would know we are worth all the extra because each soul is precious.
Kelly: How can you give back to the spellerverse?
Isaiah: My career goal is to train myself to be a Speller Avenger. I hope to one day become an independent typing ninja who can show up anywhere and immediately defeat any doubters or naysayers for my beginning spelling friends who may not yet have the fluency skills to defeat those people themselves. Other tasks I hope to also master are independently typing in high-pressure situations, such as testifying in court and typing live answers to questions from a conference crowd.
Kelly: What do you think is a remaining challenge for non-speaking people and what is your suggestion for overcoming it?
Isaiah: I think we still need to convince law and policymakers we are all really stuck here inside our bodies. We need to persevere in constantly individually pursuing ever-higher fluency skills and working together, whenever the opportunity arises, with ally professionals and organizations.
Kelly: If your life was a book, what would the title be?
Isaiah: Have Blessings, Can Travel
Kelly: Imagine a map of the world. Where does your mind’s eye land and why?
Isaiah: Taiwan – I have many family members there that I haven’t seen in too long.
Kelly: If you could choose one song to play every time you walked into a room for the rest of your life, what song would you choose and why?
Isaiah: “By Faith” by Keith and Kristyn Getty and Stuart Townend because it’s about how my life is held up by God alone in His work making me non-speaking for reasons only He completely knows. I cling to His promises revealed in the Bible that one day in heaven, I will fully understand why He made me disabled and in the meantime, I will do the work and run the race assigned me.
Kelly: Who inspires you? How would you want to inspire others?
Isaiah: My parents inspire me because they always believe God made me non-speaking on purpose. They always encourage and remind me not to despair when things get hard, and that the work God will prepare for me to do will glorify Him somehow. I think my parents are also great at modeling for me how to stand up against naysayers.
I hope my life will cast a long shadow for many future spelling families to stand in as a shield to conquer any who want to block their access to their right to communication. I want communication to be accessible to all future non-speakers from a young age and I hope the evidence I leave behind will lighten the burden of families in gaining that access.
Kelly: It is a huge honor to interview you. If you could interview someone you look up to, who would it be
Isaiah: My Great-Grandmas are already in heaven. I’m told they were happy people who loved God
Isaiah, I know YOU are already an inspiration to many, and I know that you will continue to inspire! It was a pleasure to interview you, and again, congratulations on being a 2021 Ambassador Spellebrity!
Amazing, loving, hard-working, Speller and Advocate, Isaiah has attained multiple college credits from Harvard Extension School with A-level final grades. He is described as a “role model,” is tirelessly working to pursue higher academics and is breaking the glass ceiling for many spellers to come. “I am hoping to have a career as a S2C Expert Demonstrator.”