Write an essay where you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to become a teacher.

When I was in high school, I stumbled upon a program that would change my life forever, Best Buddies. In my freshman year, I joined Best Buddies, a worldwide organization that focuses on fostering friendships for individuals with disabilities. I was asked to be President for my junior and senior year. I led a group of over 180 students to form relationships with individuals with disabilities. This includes spearheading events weekly, such as parties, themed sporting events, crafts, fundraisers, restaurant outings, and so many others. After my first year as president, our chapter received the International Chapter of the Year Award out of over 1,000 other chapters, I was honored and excited about this recognition, but it was the passion that I found that was the most valuable award.

At the beginning of my junior year, my high school acquired the regional Autism Program. Because of my achievements and dedication to Best Buddies, our administration offered me a position to master tutor in the Autism Program. This position is typically only offered to seniors. I worked with the students on social, vocational, and academic skills. I had the privilege of creating my own lessons to specify to the students’ goals. After only being in the classroom for a week I came home in tears to my mom and told her "this is my passion, this is what I want to do with the rest of my life". Each one of the students touched my heart and helped me learn more about life. I cannot imagine my life without them.

Through my experiences, I knew without a doubt I wanted to teach special education for students with severe Autism and highly injurious behaviors. These students seem to be the forgotten ones in our society. These children deserve love and a teacher to believe that they can succeed. This is my goal as a teacher for everyone of my students. Their smiling faces, their warm hugs, and their drive to succeed push me to become a teacher for them.

Kaitlyn from Maryland
College Sophomore
Millersville University