This is a guest post from Codie Perry, a junior at Nantucket High School in the Perfect Pals program. Perfect Pals is Nantucket High School’s mentoring club for students with disabilities in Nantucket, MA. The goal of Perfect Pals is to provide socialization, role models and friends for the individuals with disabilities; well-deserved respite for parents; and a rewarding and memorable experience for all of the club members.
My decision to join the group Perfect Pals has been one of the greatest choices I have made in my life. It has opened my heart and mind up and has begun a change in me. Seeing the many kids with disabilities in my community makes me sad and it has opened my mind up to the broader world. Being part of this group takes me out of my own little world and forces me to realize that there are people who have it worse off than me. And so for me to be upset over little things is insulting and just not right, and this is the change in mind set that has begun in me. But the thing is, is that all these kids are happy! They are truly and genuinely happy, and so for me to be upset over small problems is just something I do not want to do any longer. Seeing them makes me happy and knowing that just by giving a little bit of my time can completely change them and make their lives so much better. It can be thought that I am helping them but in reality, they are the ones who are truly helping me. They have taught me to enjoy life for what it is and although it may not be perfect, life is still great. They have taught me to be more understanding and compassionate of others, I feel as though I have a greater sensitivity to the needs of people. I intend to stay committed to this group and making sure that I am doing everything I can to go to the events that we set up for them because its means not only the world to them but also to me. I do not want to get caught up in the world and trying to achieve personal success and end up forgetting about our Pals. Spending time with them and being with them is what is important. I have a problem of getting caught up in different problems that I may have and start to feel the weight of the world upon my shoulders, but with all that I need to find time for them. Nothing proves a person’s character more than if they are willing to put aside their own difficulties and reach out and help someone else. I intend to keep this principle as a number one priority in my life, making sure that I am living that why as each day passes. I am so fortunate to attend Nantucket High School and to have this chance to make a difference in the lives of other kids. It is the greatest feeling in the world to know that you are making a significant difference in someone else’s live. I want to thank Mrs. Walsh and Mrs. Horyn for all that they do, and the effort that they put in, to make this program as successful as it is, and I hope that I can continue to put forth my best effort in contributing to perfect Pals. I know as a result it will have a lasting impact on not only the lives of our Pals but also in my life.
For more information, visit the Nantucket Autism Speaks Resource Center website www.autismspeaks.org/community/resources/nantucket.php.
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