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August 2016

This summer I joined the staff at Reach to help people with disabilities reach their full potential. I believe that, given the opportunity, everyone can succeed in reaching their full potential. This is why I wanted to get involved with Reach; I want to help people succeed. Success is different for each person and in every situation. Success can be something big, like getting a promotion or graduating or success can be something small, like trying something new or making a new friend. Success may just be any little progress made towards an end goal. I believe that Reach provides people with disabilities those extra opportunities to be successful.

With Reach, I worked with a few children each week in inclusions. These kids need a little extra help participating in the various community programs. Lucky for me, I got to be that little extra help. I was able to participate in those programs and help these kids strive and do activities they may not have been able to do without me. One of the inclusions I did was swimming lessons. I worked with a child named Adam on Monday nights over the summer for 45 minutes each week. Although 45 minutes is not a lot of time, I hope that in that time I made a difference in Adam’s life. I believe that I did, which to me means not only did I help Adam reach success, but he helped me to reach success as well.

On the first week I quickly realized that Adam loves the water. He is a very happy boy when he gets to be in the pool, playing and swimming. Each week, Adam would come to swimming lessons, he would see me, and a smile would appear on his face. He would wait for me to slide in the water and then he would jump in after me. The joy on his face when he popped back up out of the water made my day every single Monday. Adam also showed improvement in his swimming skills over the lessons. He became much more comfortable in the water and was able to lay his head in the water while on his back compared to the first night when he would not lay on his back in the water at all. Adam became more involved with the other kids in his class; one of the girls talked to him and gave him high fives every night. It was awesome for me to see Adam interacting with the other kids, improving his skills, and having fun in the water.

Every Monday, I would leave the swimming lesson, drive home, and think about the lesson with Adam. I would think about the smile he puts on my face, how his skills are improving, and the joy I saw on his face every time we jumped around in the water. I believe Adam grew as a person and was successful in his swimming lessons. Adam is a very sweet boy and I will miss him. All I can hope is for the short time I was lucky enough to work with Adam that I made a difference in his life, because he surely made an impact on mine.

​For more information on Reach inclusion services, contact Emily Miller at 952-393-5880 or [email protected].