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December 07, 2012 | North America: Hawaii

Acceptance

By Rachel Alm

I've been involved in my school's Peer Education program for two years. This year we started frequently going to the Special Education classrooms. When the idea was first introduced, there was a lot of apprehension about it. I remember this one boy really disliked the idea and he was very vocal about it.

The first day we went, he stayed in the back, didn't socialize and just watched. After about two weeks of this, he started to move a little closer. Every week he took another step forward. It's been three months now, and he's made such an incredible change. He's always the first in the door and the very last to leave. He even complained when our teacher said we would have to skip a week. It's been amazing to watch him grow and become a more accepting person.

The more reluctant he was to see, the less he saw, but in taking a step closer, his sight cleared and those differences he perceived began to disappear. Going in, we all thought we would be teaching these students, but it turns out that they’re the ones teaching us.

About Rachel Alm: I am a Junior at Roosevelt High School. I've been involoved with Special Olympics Hawaii for three years and I'm currently serving my first year on the National Youth Activation Commitee.
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