This semester, I am currently enrolled in a class called Survey of Exceptionality. This class is for Education majors and focuses on the skills and mindset needed for teaching students with disabilities. For this class, I am required to have 10 hours of volunteer service with adults who have disabilities. We are given a list of organizations around Northwest Arkansas that provides services fro people with disabilities. After doing some research, I chose Lifestyles. Lifestyles Incorporated is an organization based out of Fayetteville that “provides quality services for individuals with disabilities”.
I have spent a few weeks with them getting my hours and have enjoyed it more than I expected to. I have learned more through my volunteer hours than I have in the class due to the interactions I’ve had. I have learned how to be gentle, purposeful, and selfless when working with these sweet people. I have learned to ask a lot of questions to make them feel loved. I have learned to lighten the mood by being funny and bubbly. I have learned that adults with disabilities have the biggest hearts and are always happy. They have inspired me to be a better person, to be positive, and to be intentional in every conversation I have.
I am a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma on campus, and we are able to get up to 40 hours of community service. I wasn’t planning on getting all 40, but now that I have gotten involved with Lifestyles, I am planning on getting all 40 over Christmas break as well as excess hours just because I love it that much. The staff that is in charge at Lifestyles is so encouraging, so serving, and so determined to make this organization a welcoming, loving place for these people.
This experience has been one of my favorite things about college so far. I would have never had this opportunity if it weren’t for Survey of Exceptionality. This class has taught me to have intentional conversations with all people, to be selfless in every situation, and to love people no matter who they are or what their situation is.