It was my first day of Key Club – a volunteer program that works with Key Center, a school for students with disabilities. I walked down the hallways; each one of them was lined with arts and crafts projects, nametags and cubbies. It was a different environment from what I was used to. I walked into the classroom, not sure of what I should do. The teacher told me to take a seat next to Mia, I sat down and said hello. No response. “She’s a little shy.”
After talking to the teacher, I learned Mia’s motor skills were not well developed and she had learning disabilities. “You can help her color, but she doesn’t know how to hold a pencil on her own.” Task #1: help Mia learn how to hold a pencil. With another teacher there for assistance, Mia and I worked together every other day until she could hold a pencil on her own. It was a tedious task, but it was one that I wasn’t going to give up on. Not only did I help Mia learn how to hold a pencil, but we also formed a bond in the process. After breaking down barriers, we were able to act casually – we shared stories of how our day was, talked about our interests, and even shared lunch together.
My participation in Key Club was personally significant because it made an impact on my life – I gained a new perspective after working with Mia. In the past, I was afraid to interact with handicapped student. Now, I’m enthusiastic about working with students like Mia – it’s like an opportunity to get a glimpse into a different world, an opportunity to make a new friend. It has made me realize that I enjoy being a part of someone’s life, being able to assist someone to the best of my ability.
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