Wednesday, June 2, 2010
I found a local elementary school near my school where I could travel to and volunteer with. The great thing about having a platform like Special Olympics is that it gives me an array of areas in which I can help and make a true difference. I became involved with Le Conte Elementary because the Full Inclusion program, which provides special assistance to students with disabilities, needed help from volunteers to help continue in making this program successful. I spoke with the head of the department and she and I have thought of many great ways in which we can make this program evolve into something bigger and greater for the students. For starters one of the main projects I began to embark on and will continue to help with when I go back to school, is making the classroom a better working environment for the kids. Many boards are outdated, undecorated and messy. I plan to clean it all up, organize the shelves, books and school supplies. A clean, organized environment is necessary for a student to learn in, especially one with disabilities for many accidents can happen with things out of their place. Another plan we have talked about is creating a binder with information about volunteerism and the tasks/jobs that are helpful when assisting with special needs students. This I can take back with me to my own school and help recruit volunteers for Le Conte. We have many more ideas that will help enrich this program because special needs students deserve the same opportunities as all the other students. Here in my blog are pictures of how I spend most of my time while volunteering, helping a child learn how to read or build a puzzle or even write their own name always reminds me of my own blessings and opportunities I have been given and it is only right for me to give a little of that back through my volunteerism in this program. I look forward to going back and continuing my work with Le Conte Elementary.
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Le Conte Elementary school is a local school who is in need of volunteers in all areas of their programs. I particularly became involved with their Full Inclusion Program which helps children with disabilities interact and be in the same classrooms as other children in their grade, along with the supervision of a chaperone. This allows children with special needs to be in the same setting and environment with their fellow classmates instead of being alone and isolated. I feel that this program helps them develop not only their educational skills but also their social skills. This slideshow shows a small part of my day with one of the students and his name is Bryce. He is full of life and energy, sometimes hard to keep him focus and still on his tasks. Here we are in music class and I am helping him hear the tune of the rest of the class and he adds to the music with his bongo playing. At times it is very difficult to keep him reared in on what he is supposed to be doing and I constantly have to remind him of it. This is very challenging and frustrating at times and I see that in this he is also teaching me. Teaching me ways to be patient and help me dip into my creative side in finding ways to help keep him focused. After a day of playing and teaching with Bryce I am exhausted and find myself smiling as I walk out of that classroom because I know I made a difference in his life in the days worth of work and he also has impacted mine to the same or even further extent. I am so happy to have chosen a platform in which I can give and found it a blessing to also be on the receiving end of things.
The local chapter of Lambda Sigma Kappa held their fundraising event on a beautiful warm Sunday on April 25th. The mission of Sigma Kappa Foundation is to lead, educate and inspire society through educational programming and philanthropic events. Whether it is walking in an Alzheimer's Association memory walk or holding a fundraiser such as this one, they do it to provide assistance to elderly in need. It was a $5.00 admission charge and with that those who came out to support us got a complimentary make up and nail make over. There were various raffles and auctions along with yummy appetizers and refreshments provided. It was a good way to bond and have a good time all the while raising money for a good cause. I support Sigma Kappa and its philanthropic events and am proud to have been a part of that wonderful day as Miss California and a sister.
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Part of my job is to explain what it is I do as Miss California, why I do it and what it is I volunteer in. I love being able to possibly make a difference in the lives of our future generations. Every time I give a speech I touch the possibility of impacting and making a difference in the lives of one of the students listening. This time around I was invited to speak to an all girls classroom period. Girl time was so much fun. As I got to talk about my duties and responsibilities I also got to share make up tips and show them my previous crowns, sashes and plaques. My main focus was to get across how much beauty lies within. I explained what truly made me beautiful, my devotion towards volunteerism with the Special Olympics. With that I described that Special Olympics would not necessarily be the area of interest for them but that through trying different things they would find what it is makes their hearts become filled with joy. A classroom period full of girl talk was a blast!
Saturday, February 6, 2010
I hope by viewing this slideshow the true essence of why I competed and wanted to become Miss California International can come through. It is not all about glitz and glamour. Wearing jeans a t-shirt and some converse while being able to play, talk, help, inspire and become friends with the Special Olympic participants is what it is truly about. During winter break I was able to fully engage in many activities with them. Although I am supposed to be teaching them how to do things, many times they end up teaching me and explaining the rules to me. Through interaction and with activities such as beading class, video games, foosball, ping pong and outings I am able to share my time with them. After every single shift of spending time with them I cannot help but walk away and feel a great sense of appreciation for life and for all that I have. They show me more than how to play games, they show me how precious life is and that we should be happy with what we were given. They are always smiling and joking around despite whatever disability they face each and every day. My heart is fulfilled with a deep joy when I am surrounded by my kids. I am the one that is supposed to be teaching them and I feel like I do, but not nearly as much as they teach me in my life. I am grateful to hold the title of Miss California and be able to speak these words in hope that someone who reads this will be moved to volunteer some of their time with Special Olympics as well and experience the beauty I do when I am with them.