Every year I am drawn to kids that have painful stories to tell. It is an interesting ability that I have to be able to zero in on children that are in a lot of physical and emotional pain. I see these amazing kids that have gone through some very difficult situations at a very young age, and it is incredible.
One year I remember interacting with a sixth grade student named Jeff. He always seemed to be a little off socially. I was intrigued, and felt a connection with Jeff that I can’t explain. Many times I would be asked to let Jeff help me clean the school rather than going out to recess, so Jeff could do community service for breaking school rules.
I loved talking to Jeff. I always liked making Jeff feel important. One day on the local news I saw a story about Jeff. The news reporter went on to say that Jeff’s parents had been handcuffing Jeff to his bed when he came home from school. I was so surprised to learn about the painful abuse he was going through.
You never know what challenges someone is going through. Because of Jeff, and many other kids Like him. I choose to celebrate their strengths instead of focusing on their weaknesses. I love my job because everyday I ask myself this question “who do I get to help today”? When you reach out to children with kindness they respond very positively.