I am currently a Sophomore at Motlow State Community College. I am 19 years old and am one of 5 children in my family. I am a triplet and also have a special needs brother. Both me and my sisters are in college, so finding the financial means to continue is rather hard. We all work very hard to try and get scholarships. I believe having a college education is vital. But having a good work ethic is just as important. I want to show others that it is worth getting a college education and they should not let anything stop them.

 One of the biggest passions in my life is helping children with special needs, and their family members. The thesis topic I would write on is how high-behavior need children affect the family unit. I am majoring in Special Education and have a brother with autism. Growing up with a family member who has behavior issues, it was difficult to see how his behaviors affected our family both mentally and physically. Having a family member who has behavior issues can be a very isolating feeling for everyone involved.

Growing up I was exposed to different children’s behaviors from a very young age. I was surrounded by children with special needs, who were friends with my brother. I knew from a young age that I wanted to become a Special Education teacher. The teachers that taught my brother were some of the most important people in his life. They saw the good, the bad, and the ugly of his behaviors. As a special education teacher, I want to be able to unconditionally love the students regardless of what their behaviors are. One of the most influential aspects of special education teachers is how they partner with the families and give the families a sense of peace while taking care of their family members.

From my personal experience, I know I would not be the same person I am today if I and my family had not grown up around my brother with severe aggressive behaviors. While there have been some great things that have come out of having a family member with behavior issues, it has negatively impacted our family by causing tension in the household. The amount of anxiety and fear that is associated with behavior issues is something that only a few people truly grasp. As a special education teacher I want to come alongside my students and focus on their abilities and not their disabilities. I want the parents of the children I teach to know that I love their child and have their best interests at heart.

One obstacle I have faced in my school career is my learning disability. I have constantly worked hard at my school and learned ways to overcome it. I never thought I would ever be able to go to college but am proud to say that I am currently maintaining a 3.75 GPA. I want my story to motivate others to not let their struggles define them. I believe that college should be strongly encouraged in every family, not just for the academic education, but also for meeting and learning about other people’s lives. I am excited for the opportunity to get a degree and use that to help others.