Being Part of Something Bigger

People with disabilities of any kind spend much of their life simply trying to survive by taking care of ourselves, and others enough to feed our needs.  Yet, when we work together it creates a dynamic flow.  The synergy derived from people with, and those without learning disabilities can create something bigger than we can imagine.  The China Disabled People’s Performing Art Troupe are a great example of disabled people working together to create synergy and beauty for the people around them.  Please see the video,  Thousand Hand Bodhisattva, and be aware of how you feel watching these dancers.  These ladies unable to hear the music are still able to come together creating an amazing spectacle admired by people throughout the world.  As I watch these ladies teach me how a little gesture like raising your hand can make others feel good, and maybe they do something nice for other people.

Being part of something bigger is an amazing way to minimize the feelings of inadequacy and insignificance in my life.  By sharing the tips and tricks I have learned over the years in this blog makes me feel like I am part of someone else’s journey.  If someone benefits by only using a small part of a suggestion, we both win.  It is energizing to me to think, I may have the ability to add value to someone’s life today.  Like puzzle pieces, people are not effective or completely content alone, yet can create vast value when working together to pay it forward.

Coming Next: The Value of Synergy in the Workplace

The Magic of Work-Study

Work-study is a program designed to employ eligible students in school related departments or programs.  Most of these departments are housed on the school’s campuses, yet a few; such as literacy programs may be housed off-campus. Work-Study programs are typically funded by the state or federal government.  These are based on financial need calculated using your, and in many situations your parent or guardian’s income.  To receive work-study the student must apply for it using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form.

When applying for Financial Aid, you must provide your tax information, and as mentioned your parent or guardian’s tax return information.  Please warn your family if your are younger than 26 years old, you are applying for Financial Aid and may need their tax information.  If you are lucky enough to receive Work-Study, which is listed in your Financial Aid award letter, please being applying for on-campus jobs immediately before someone else is hired for the job in which you are interested.  These jobs can be found on the school’s website typically under On-Campus Jobs, or contact your Financial Aid representative for more information.

Any on-campus employment position comes with a little magic.  Your supervisor, and other students will know more about the school’s resources than you would think exist.  If you run into any little problem, please ask for assistance.  May schools have financial Aid and scholarships opportunities with the option for an emergency loan programs for cash or books.  The tutoring or writing assistance programs have a vast ability to help students.  For disabled students there is a program to assist with your unique needs.  The Math tutor program may loan calculators.  There may be a generous collection of businesses’ offering student discounts including public transportation. Many school’s also offering clubs, organizations, an honor society, and career services.  Your school can also provide counselling services or a referral for any issue.  Some schools also provide medical care for their students.

As a work-study student I took advantage of the Pell Grant and the calculator loan program. The Disability Resource Center provided the accommodations to making learning more enjoyable. For a long time I purchased student health insurance.  I used to Counseling Center to overcome Math Anxiety. Most important, I maintained a close relationship wit my supervisor, who was able to provide a variety of job duties to build my résumé.  The magic came in when all the resources were at my fingertips allowing me to thrive as a student making good grades, aligning myself with others who want to achieve more, taking more responsibility, and volunteering at events all because my basic needs were being met.

Coming Next: Being Part of Something Bigger 

Community College vs. Four-year College or University

Which Way to My...

In high school many students are making plans for themselves after graduation.  Students may choose; a four-year institutions, community college, a technical school, the military, and many will simply enter the workforce.  This generation of students are very tech savvy, and put more trust into the internet than the people around them offering advise.  Some students may check out a website like MyFuture.Com or another online guidance offering site.  There is a lot to think about when transitioning from high school to higher education or the work force. For people with learning disabilities this can be especially tough as we wean ourselves from our protective parents and caregivers to begin experiencing the world for a bit at a time.

Unlocking Potential

I was given a copy of Barbara Scheiber and Jeanne Talpers‘ book called Unlocking Potential College and Other Choices for Learning Disabled People A Step by Step Guide when I was new at Truckee Meadows Community College.  I have kept it all these years and still refer back to it when I need a little extra direction.  On page 41 they have listed a table of expected positive and negative events any student could experience  when choosing a; “Local Two-Year College, Four-Year College (away from home), Military Service, Full-Time Employment, and a Two-year Vocational Education Program.”  You can buy a copy of this resource online at your favorite retailer.  When I was debating transferring to the university, I referred back to chapter to help me build a list of questions then made an appointment at the Disability Resource Center to talk about transferring.  this process realty eased the stress of taking on something new without my mother at my side.  All I had to do was start, persevere and now I am planning to graduate within the year.

College Bound

For me I chose the local community college, and eventually transferred to the university.  My journey has an amazing adventure exceeding my wildest dreams of enjoyment and achievement.  I thought about he military and a getting a vocational automobile mechanic certification program, I tried my hand at being a machinist and financial services.  It was not until I was active in the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, I realized I loved people, business management, and wanted to pursue a higher degree to share my passion as a teacher.

Coming Next:The Magic of Work Study