Everyone has their own set of strengths and weaknesses. Those with disabilities are no different they just have a different set then everyone else. I chose this project topic because in 5th and 6th grade I was part of a program called Peer Pals. Once a week during recess I volunteered in a special needs classroom. This work opened my eyes to the world of special needs and Peer Pals is one of the things I miss about elementary school. I realized that I needed to continue helping the special needs community. No solutions presented themselves and then one day the solution stared me in the face from it’s home in the Reston Community Center Program Guide. “Volunteer at the Adapted Aquatics Class,” I had found a solution to my problem.
Meeting younger swimmers during multi level practices and cheering them on by name during team relays has allowed to share my positivity to all.
I teach kids of all ages how to swim. It’s something that I really enjoy doing, and seeing the children progress so much is so rewarding. It’s an amazing feeling when kids who, two weeks ago were too scared to let go of the wall, swim across the entire pool on their own, and you know that you helped them achieve that.
I mainly did these volunteer service hours during my time in high school and some others in grade school that I can’t quite remember. For my first three years in high school each student had to get a certain amount of service hours. For all three years I chose Merrimac Park for the location I would choose. It was close to me and I went there often. My first year I simply walked around the park and picked up all the trash I spotted. The second year I did this but then I also asked if they would let me help in the park house as well. They said yes so whenever I came I would sweep the floors of both the hallways and the gym. The third year I was once again looking to do a little more so I offered my services as a score board operator for the youth flag football league I had once been a part of at the park. I knew the person in charge of the athletic programs at the park so he agreed. I was even allowed to ref a few games because I know the basic rules having been in the league and also playing football myself in high school. I think that year was my favorite out of the three. I loved cleaning the park but adding on the role to help out the flag football league was a blast. It was something that at the time I was passionate about and had a close tie with. To be able to help was truly an honor and made me glad I was able to volunteer my time at the
The journey of competitive swimming started at the age of eight for my local `neighborhood team. I exhibited great potential for the future, for I won nearly all my races. This seemed like the sport
Curious about the kind of support available to 64 million Americans living with disabilities, I decided to explore this cause and community. I applied and was accepted as an AFK program mentor. Soon, I was working with Michael, a 13-year-old, who was nothing like my preconception of someone with autism. Over the next two years, we met nearly every week, played
“Let me win, and if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt” The oath made by the courageous, dedicated, honorable men and women of the Special Olympics. Founded in 1968, Special Olympics showed the world that people with disabilities can be valued and respected, contributing members of society.
In 2013 I attended my first special olympics event, I was so nervous because I had never been around special needs kids and didn’t know how to act or treat them, but the kids made it so easy. Now each year I attend at least four special olympics events and I have the amazing opportunity to travel with the kids to Special Olympics State at Troy University for a weekend. My aunt, Nan Franks is who I thank for introducing me to the sweetest kids I have ever met and also who I thank for giving me so many opportunities to spend time with them. Watching the boys and girls grow and excel over the years gives me an amazing feeling, watching them finally grasp something or finally learning how to say a word or winning a prize at special olympics, I
Over the course of the season, the researchers conducted individual sessions with the swimmers in which the value of performance goals and developed skills were discussed. The swimmers in the GST program learned how to complete exercises in the
I had the opportunity to complete my service-learning hours with the North Carolina Special Olympics and the Golden Living Center. The North Carolina Special Olympics provides youth and young adults with disabilities the opportunity to train and play in sporting tournaments. Without fundraising events, the North Carolina Special Olympics would not be able to provide free the athletes with equipment, uniforms, training facilities, housing, and meals. It also spreads awareness of this incredible non-profit. I completed 12 service learning hours volunteering at two Special Olympics fundraising events: softball tournament and motorcycle run. At the softball tournament I participated in various activities throughout the day such as registering the
Even though they didn’t swim into victory on October 10th, the Mohawk Swimmers had a lot to celebrate. On the last swim meet was senior night. Senior night is an annual tradition for the swimmers, and it’s used as a way to honor the seniors leaving in the coming spring. The seniors shared their highlights, memories, and good times with the crowd, and they get to enjoy their last swim meet as a team.
I have been swimming since I was six years old. I have gone to practice after practice after practice for the past eleven years. At first, I was on the club team. Then, in 7th grade I could try out for the Oxford High School team and I made it. I loved high school season the most. I loved swimming with the older kids and I loved the feeling of being on a team. Then, with what seemed like a blink of the eye, I was the older kid. I was entering my second to last season and my junior year of high school. I was the captain and the younger kids looked up to me.
At Emory, I feel that I could most accurately be described as a student-athlete. Academic success takes priority while I’m at Emory, but swimming is a close second. Spending hours daily in the pool, I have become a part of a tight-knit collection of academically and athletically prosperous students. Struggling through difficult sets and disappointing races together makes celebrating success even sweeter. We lean on each other for strength when we feel as if we don’t have enough individually. This team is comprised of caring individuals who work together to make the whole better than the individuals. From this community I have become a better team player and now I can add to the uplifting environment by drawing upon some of my innate qualities that make me a good teammate: I am supportive, dedicated, patient, kind, and hardworking. One of the unique characteristics of the swim team is that we don’t only work on creating a great community within the team, but we try to spread that excitement and desire for success to other communities. The swim team makes great contributions the Emory community by hosting Special Olympics every week at our pool and making appearances at many events such as sporting events and freshman move
The swimming mentorship being put on by the high school for young grade one kids is a great program and should be contiued to be ran throughout future years. I hope that high school kids continue to take this option being offered in Health and Wellness and I wish I was around during this rotation more because the idea of helping young kids doing something I enjoy is so cool. I have participated in many mentorship events such as ASLC, helping with grades seven to nine volleyball, and every year done a day with young softball players doing drills and improving sportsmanship.
Volunteering promotes a strong moral character, social responsibility, encourages service to others, and helps develop leadership skills. It has prepared me to serve my school, community and others in this changing world. Fosters' Purpose, in many ways, has many values that compare to my own values about volunteering. I volunteer in my community to help others. With the Back to School Enrichment Program, I helped children read, write, and do arts and crafts. Other ways that Fosters' Purpose aligns with my values about volunteering include being more responsible about my work, responsibilities, and learning from all the events I have participated in. The events, such as, the Exceptional Olympics, which is an event for children with special needs