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Growing up, I knew I always wanted to be a teacher. I loved my teachers in elementary school and decided that I wanted to be just like them and one day go back to teach at my school. I later realized that not a lot of people had this mentality of knowing what they wanted to do after college. Tons of people go through life wondering what they want to do, and I feel for them! It is hard to pinpoint why I always stuck with teaching but, even after learning about other career options, I would come back to teaching every time.

It was not until I entered middle school, and when my cousins had a baby born with disabilities, that I got introduced to the world of special education. Throughout elementary school, I noticed some kids who left our class for different ones, some classes that taught only a few kids, and how some students did not participate in the same types of activities as others. I did not know that they were in the Special Education program. Now looking back, I wish I went a little further with my curiosity and at least asked some questions.

I did not even know that anything was different with my new nephew until I was in 6th grade. It was not until he began therapies at around six months old, where my curiosity peaked again and began to realize what was going on. Watching him participate in play therapy was eye-opening, to say the least. I loved how the therapists came to the house and just played with him while working on the specific muscles and skill needs with him. It was fascinating to me, and I wanted to be there every time they came over.

From that point, I knew I wanted to do something like what I saw with my nephew but never knew what route to take. Then I saw that special education was a major, so that is what I chose to study at college for the last four years, and I am almost done! However, it was not until last year that the idea of being an occupational therapist popped into my head. The more I thought about it, and the more I researched it, eventually made me decide that it was my next path after graduation.

The reason I always love sharing this story is that I do not know where I would have ended up if my nephew was not born with disabilities. I am eternally grateful to my nephew and the countless people that helped him over the years. It is crazy how life throws you curveballs, and it is beautiful when you take those lemons and make them into lemonade!

I am a senior here at WCU with a dual major in Elementary and Special Education. I have a passion for art and music, spending quality time with family and friends, binging TV shows, and having a love for reading and writing!
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