Skip to main content

Finding Your Calling

This is an essay written for a graduate program application by someone who has known Ben for about 4 years. With Nicole's permission, I am posting this. I changed the name of the university.

Working for the YMCA of Greater Charlotte exposed me to a lot of children. One of my many
jobs at the YMCA is to teach swimming. As a swim instructor, I started teaching three-five years old
how to swim. It was an amazing feeling and I enjoyed seeing the big happy smiles on their little faces.

The Aquatics Coordinator had one specific child named Ben that she was assigned to instruct. Ben
was five years old and has Cerebral Palsy. He does not talk, but makes loud noises in the water, which was a sign of his happiness. As time went on, I would say hello to Ben. I begin meeting his family and I would always give Ben hugs while he would pinch my cheeks and grab my hair. One day the Aquatics Coordinator came up to me and said that she had a new job offer in New York and was leaving in a month. She asked me if I could take over and continue to teach Ben to swim. I was so honored and told her I would be more than happy to do so. Even though we were sad she was leaving and I was nervous at first, I knew I could handle the job. To this day, I am still teaching Ben to swim.

I guess I can say I found my gift after going to school for five years and working multiple jobs for
the past four years. I started thinking to myself I wanted to do more. I knew I wanted to go back to
school but unsure of what to study. As time with on I knew I had to try to work in the special needs field to see if this was the place for me. So I applied for Exceptional Children position for the Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools. August of 2011, I was offered a position at a High School as an Assistant. It was happening! I was finally setting a goal and felt like this one was the right one. I started seeing progress in children I was working with and knew I needed to learn more about children with disabilities. I did an online search on specialized majors and found what I needed. XX University offered a Masters Program in Disability studies. Wow, this was amazing feeling and I felt like now I can incorporate my Sports Management background, swim instructor experience and educational studies into opening a facility for kids with disabilities.
The main reason why I am choosing to studying Disability Studies at XXU is because I have so
much to offer these special people. I know it took me about four years to realize this dream, but it was meant for me. God knew that I had to go through obstacles and struggles to get where I am today. I am thankful for what God has done for me and he wants me to do more. Yes, it took our Aquatics coordinator leaving so that I could find out what I wanted to do with in a career. Ben is awesome and even though he does not speak to me as you, our connection is so strong that I understand when he is not feeling well, when he doesn’t want to swim and when he wants to jump in the pool. Studying at XXU will help me meet more children like Ben and accomplish my goal in opening my very own facility for kids.


Popular posts from this blog

Parenting an Adult Child with Disabilities

  "Parenting an Adult Child with Disabilities" is a series on eSpeciallyBen. As Ben approached 18, it was clear our role changed as parents. We needed to help Ben transition into adulthood. These stories are meant to assist other families who face, or will face, some of the same challenges. Talking About the Future Guest Post - Matt Wilson Legal Guardianship, Medicaid and SSI Researching Group Homes Questions to Ask at a Group Home Visit Referral Packet for Group Homes Getting Assistance from a Care Manager From Group Home Placement to Discharge Reaching for Independence

He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother

After my post, Brotherly Love , I received an email from a reader who reminded me of this song. I knew the song, but had never really thought about the words and the meaning behind them. I looked it up and thought others might see the lyrics in a new light.   He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother The road is long With many a winding turn That leads us to who knows where Who knows when But I'm strong Strong enough to carry him He ain't heavy, he's my brother. So on we go His welfare is of my concern No burden is he to bear We'll get there For I know He would not encumber me If I'm laden at all I'm laden with sadness That everyone's heart Isn't filled with the gladness Of love for one another. It's a long, long road From which there is no return While we're on the way to there Why not share And the load Doesn't weigh me down at all He ain't heavy, he's my brother. He's my brother He ain't h

ABC's of ABA

A few weeks ago I attended a workshop presented by a behavior therapist. As it turned out, I went to a conference on the same topic over a year ago. I will describe what I have taken away from these methods in my own words - but please take a look at the links I have provided below. After I learned about this, life with children made a lot more sense to me. Not that this is earth shattering material, but it helped me to better understand the hows, whats and whys of behavior in children, and occasionally husbands. I am in no way an expert in this - just a parent who wants to share a behavior strategy that has worked in our home. I hope to inspire others to explore it further.  Any errors in information comes from me and cannot be blamed on the presenters. Also, you may have seen ABA - Applied Behavior Analysis - connected most often with Autism - please do not let this deter you if your child is not autistic. I use these methods with all my children, none of which are labeled au