I would like to join Leadership because I want to make a difference in other people’s life’s who have special needs. I have been there. I have persevered through my challenges in my life, and a good leader does not give up even when times get tough.
When I was in kindergarten I threw a chair at a teacher because it was very hard to keep up with the work. So they put me in to Special Ed. They moved me to Fair Oaks Elementary School and my new teacher was Mrs. Vargo. At first, I was mad because they made me move schools but, then I felt school was getting easier. When I was in third grade they moved me to Ayres and my friend moved to Aryes too. Placed in Special Education Classrooms I only had one friend. My teacher at Aryes was not the best fit for me, and she didn’t believe that though I was in Special Ed I was capable of learning and achieving the goals that were written for me.
My biggest goal was going back into mainstream.
My parents moved me to a different school again. This time, to Valhalla Elementary where I was placed into Special Ed but this time with an IEP team that believed that I was capable of mainstreaming, so for the first year Mrs. Young worked hard to get me ready and mainstreamed me a couple hours a week. During the summer before my fifth grade year, my mom told me that I was going to mainstream full time. My teacher for fifth grade was Mrs. Hewgley. That year I made 6 friends! I did really well that year in school. I reached my goal of making it into mainstream. Even though some of the students who are in special ed may not have the same goal doesn’t mean they don’t need support from peers.
I started soccer when I was in first grade. I didn’t want to do it but I faced my fears and joined the team.
The year before, my parents had me try basketball and it was loud and there were people coming towards me, and though I did what was asked during basketball practice I stayed off to the side and did not want to be part of the team. Therefore, my parents put me in V.I.P. Soccer which is for children who have special needs. The coaches and parents said I was really good. The first game the parents asked my mom if I’d done soccer before. I was so happy that I could actually do a sport. In second grade I joined AYSO in the mainstream team and played a year down. I was one of the main people scoring on my team. In fourth grade, I was asked to play the Elite Team in my age group. I didn’t play that well that season because the kids were rude and they didn’t pass. In fifth grade I joined Heritage Soccer Club, Heritage is a competitive soccer club. The Team name was Rampage and, I was number was 10. My nickname was Rusty because of my hair, and I played hard. My coach had away to encourage me and not allow me to give up on myself.
The first half of the season I would only talk to him. He told me that was fine as long as I was willing to listen and talk to him, I did not have to talk to anyone else.
By the end of the season, I was a team member who talked to everyone.
One day, my coach went to my mom and said I got in trouble for talking to another player and had to run laps. They gave each other fives like they were happy about that. This year in soccer my AYSO team was USA made it in to northern California championships. In the championships we took fourth. Even though some thought I had limitations I persevered and told myself I have no limitations and I can play my best and my best is better then others.
Not everyone has the same gifts or strengths, as a leader I want to recognize their strengths.
Two weeks ago I ran a 5k I thought I was not going to be able to complete this but, I don’t like giving up. I completed the race and did it 28:34. I didn’t even train for the 5k. I liked it so much I want to run a 10k. So I am now training for a 10k. Now I am learning to keep my pace, and my mom and I will be running the 10K Mother’s Day Run together! Today on the training I ran two miles in 24 minutes. As a leader it is important to me to assist others in trying something new even though it could be scary.
At times I feel like I do not have many strengths, but I know I believe in myself and know that I can overcome challenges.
To be a leader you must not give up, and to be a great leader you need to believe in others and stickup for those who are still learning to believe in themselves. As a person, you may run into challenges but, you can work pass them. Being on the leadership team I believe I can help those who are struggling to work past their challenges and help them feel more confident in themselves and our school Community that they are part of.
This was written by Yaakov who is applying to be on leadership for his middle school for next year. He gave permission to allow me to share it. I have taken out what school he will be attending, but other then that these are his words.