Before Leaving Nantucket, President Biden Counsels Young Girl With Stutter

Nine-year-old Avery Nigrelli and her family were waving goodbye to President Joe Biden and his family as their motorcade departed Rabbit Run Road yesterday on its way to Nantucket Memorial Airport when it slowed to a stop. To their surprise, President Biden exited his vehicle and walked over to the group on the side of the road.

Avery wasn’t shy. “Mr. President, I have a stutter just like you,” the girl said.

President Biden put his hands on her shoulders, according to Avery’s mother, Jessica Gifford Nigrelli, and talked to her for 10 minutes about his own stutter and the tricks he uses to overcome it.

“Remember this: it doesn’t define you,” President Biden told her. “I have had a stutter my whole life and now I’m the President of the United States. You can be anything you want to be.”

Biden told Avery about the movie “The King’s Speech” and King George VI’s tactics to overcome his speech impediment, while saying he would send Avery’s mother a copy of one of his speeches to show how he marks it up with notes to help himself. Biden even invited Avery to come to the White House.

“My daughter will remember this moment forever,” Jessica Gifford Nigrelli said. “And I don’t think she will every feel hindered by her stutter in the same way ever again.”

The Nigrellis, who own a home on Rabbit Run Road, were Biden’s neighbors for the week. For most of the year they live in Weston, Mass., but were together for the Thanksgiving holiday on the island, where they have been coming for years. Nigrelli’s brother is Rufus Gifford, who served as Biden’s deputy campaign manager, and has been nominated for a post in the U.S. State Department. Gifford tweeted about the exchange over the weekend. 

More from Jason Graziadei

Short-Term Rental Regulations On Tap Tonight At Planning Board

The island’s debate over short-term rentals will be renewed in earnest today...
Read More