Growing up, we had a neighbor, her name is Bella. Bella was born on the autism spectrum as well as physical deformities as a baby. Bella is considered special needs by the school's standards, but to my family and me she is the most extraordinary person we've had the privilege to meet. As a kid I grew up playing with Bella, most days I would be able to hang out with her and play until dinner time but as I grew and as my schedule got busier, the less and less time I was able to hang out with Bella. When she would ask me to do something with her I was unsure how to tell Bella that I couldn't because school and other activities were taking precedence. I distinctly remember my mother saying to me, “ She's a teenage girl just like you, talk to her like you would a friend.” From then on out, I lived by that simple yet powerful phrase, and when allowed in my sixth grade year I was finally able to work in a Special Education classroom! When working with the kids there were many times where I would hear “normal” students talk to them in a voice that you would use to speak to a pet or a toddler. I knew that was not the way to make a connection with these kids. Just like with Bella, spoke to and approached the students as I would my best friends. Just as I expected, they responded with way more positivity than if they were being babied and subconsciously looked at as less than their instructors. I worked with all sorts of kids with different abilities and disabilities. My contribution to the classroom came in many forms including walking kids to and from class, trying to convince students to go to class, helping some eat, and providing encouragement to them. The importance of working in this classroom has and will always be the same, the overwhelming love you feel when walking into the room where people are excited to learn and see you, it is of the utmost importance to me that they feel the same way that they make me feel. Extraordinary! When I finished middle school and entered high school there was a rule that only upperclassmen could help in the Special Education classroom. After learning this I was very disappointed. I was then contacted by the middle school Special Ed teacher and she said that she needed my help and asked me to take time from my free period to come back to the middle school Special Ed room. I, of course, was so happy and jumped at the opportunity. From the beginning of middle school to the present day, I have been a part of the special education program. Working with the students on any task is always the best part of my day. I know the the relationships I have built with the teachers and kids in this classroom will last a lifetime.
To be a part of the North Oldham student government program, you must go through a series of interviews with teachers and administrators and then be recommended by one of the interviewers to receive an application template. Having gone through the process in the tenth grade I was more comfortable with how the interviews would occur. I was generously recommended by one of the interviewers and began my application. Some questions were in regards to leadership skills, others were about goals for the class you were running to represent. These applications were looked over by our principle and based upon his decision, three candidates were chosen to be able to campaign, I was chosen for my aspirations for my class as well as leadership and responsibility in making the promises of last year's student government come to life. I was, for the third year in a row, ( 10, 11 & 12th grade ) elected to represent my class. The responsibilities of the class vice president are, scheduling meetings to meet with the president, secretary, and treasurers, fundraising for our junior year and senior year proms, and to make sure that our class leaves its positive mark on the school forever. Based upon previous experience, my role as vice president is important. I am the right-hand man to the President and I help rationalize with the administrators on all social topics. Within student government I set dates in which we meet and discuss the wants from the class to create ideas and plans on how to accomplish these things. These meetings take place twice a month and every member is required to be there each meeting unless of course a medical or personal reason why they cannot attend. I take my position very seriously and it is an honor that my class sees my vision and trusts me to create for them the best possible high school opportunity!
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