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In fourth grade, I met Taylor. My life was greatly affected by her and continues to be in countless ways. Taylor is truly an admirable, absolutely beautiful, joyful, and kindhearted young lady. However, that isn’t how everyone sees her. People who meet Taylor briefly just view her as the girl who has Down Syndrome. Unfortunately, that is the first thing that comes to people’s minds when they see a person with a disability. I am here to show they are more than their disability. My goal throughout my lifetime is to change people’s negative perceptions of those with intellectual and physical disabilities. With your university’s Adapted Special Education program, I will hopefully be given a better opportunity to achieve my goal.
Over my seven years of working, playing, and learning about these exceptional children, I have become more willing and prepared to pursue a degree in this field. People often define me as a softhearted person. I view myself as a very maternal person, meaning I understand that not only with I be teaching these kids but in some ways I will be caring for them as some need help with simple, everyday tasks. My school offered Adaptive P.E. which was a class that gave students a chance to spend a period of their day working in the E.C. classrooms in the school. This class helped me gain the qualities I have now and showed me how to interact with those students. Along with my calming nature, optimism and organizational skills, I have the qualities of a strong leader. Playing on the varsity volleyball team for three years and being a key player showed me how to remain a leader among others. A reserved, quiet leader is what I can best be described as, but I take charge when it is necessary and do what needs to be done in order to achieve any task at hand. The qualities I possess are often looked for in a successful special education teacher.
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Multiple mentors of mine have obtained a degree from Appalachian State University, one specifically being my cousin who now works as a special education teacher in North Carolina. Seeing her success with the university, along with other adults, and her positive comments about the program only solidified my desire to be a future Mountaineer. Becoming familiar with the campus has not been difficult for me, being that I live in the neighboring county of Ashe and have attended a volleyball camp over the past summer at ASU. Being so close to the campus has made me love the beauty of it even more. Completing research on the program I hope to take part in and the university constantly reassures me that I am making the best decision for my future by applying to this school.
Once I complete the program at ASU, my immediate goal is to move directly into a job in my field and start changing the lives of special needs students and their families. As various people know, notably high school and college students, money is sometimes tight. Despite that fact, I hope to open my own special needs school so teachers and mentors will be able to focus solely on the needs of those with intellectual and physical disabilities. My goals to become a special education teacher and change the lives of those with disabilities are achievable with Appalachian State University’s help and education. I strongly believe that my knowledge and dedication to become successful in this field will be useful to ASU.