When I was younger and adults used to ask what I wanted to be when I grew up, I always answered, “It doesn’t matter as long as I am helping someone.” They would tell me there were countless career options for me then. Shortly after I started college at UNCG I decided I wanted to be a teacher. I wanted to help give kids the confidence they need to be successful in school. I wanted to be those inspiring and wonderful teachers I had growing up, and who I would never forget.
While I was in Greensboro, I needed to get a job to help pay for housing and bills. A friend told me to apply to an agency that specialized in helping people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities to reach their goals. Three months working with a five year old with autism, I was sold. This is what I was passionate about. I wanted to work every day and help this kindergartner with his goals. I wanted to practice his signs for “puzzle” and “bubble” and “candy”. It would truly be the highlight of my week. When I had to leave Greensboro due to my health, it was very hard. I kept telling myself it was temporary and I was going back but the doctor had told me I couldn’t work with the kids for now. I couldn’t lift, or jump, or run. I couldn’t do what I had fallen in love with, and that was the hardest thing to face.
My goal was to finish college and so this was my first step. I loved being in the classroom and if I had to live in Durham, why not take classes and focus on my goal. So I wasn’t going to waste this summer. I wanted to be as prepared as possible. We don’t know what tomorrow will bring so if we must move with the wind, we must be prepared somehow. Every class I take and semester that goes by, I know I am closer to my goal to help people. I still want to be a teacher; I still crave the smile on the face of a child and the way their eyes light up when they have truly learned something new. I plan to work very hard and complete my special education degree. I want to continue to reach my goals, despite what any doctors will tell me. I will work again with kids who need extra time and help. I will teach them everything I can and I will succeed because nothing will stop my drive, nothing will curve that craving and I hope nothing ever does.