EDITOR’S NOTE: The following was written by Sylvester Middle School Special Needs student Cassidy Huff, 12. In January, she raised money to purchase iPads for her fellow students (read our previous coverage here). She may have a disability, but she is a dynamic, charismatic, intelligent young lady, and we’re proud she decided to share her experience with our Readers… image1 image2 image3 My name is Cassidy Huff and I am 12-years old. I have a rare genetic condition called Conradi Hunermann. I am blind out of my right eye and deaf out of my left ear, causing me to wear a hearing aid. My whole right side is three and a half inches shorter than my left. So I have to wear a prosthetic on my right leg. In early October, I was chosen for a volunteer position for the Special Ed class at my school. I would be a Peer Tutor in their classroom! I noticed that most of the children that I work with are nonverbal. So in order to communicate, they have to carry around binders with pictures taped to them. The kids would have to point to the things that they wanted on the pictures. In mid October, I had my thirty third surgery. While recovering from my procedure, I thought of an idea. Studies show that children with autism benefit from having iPads to help them communicate. And there are several kids with autism in that class. But I couldn’t just get iPads for the kids with autism. I had to get one for every student. That meant eight iPads. It was going to be tough, but I was determined. I contacted a lot of news stations and I even got my own radio spot! I got my school on board and I decided that I wanted to make it a surprise for the students and teachers! After a week I had five thousand dollars! We looked into which apps work best with the kids that we work with, and we found out that the app that we wanted was two hundred twenty dollars! So I would need to raise another thousand dollars. Within another week, I had over six thousand dollars! I wanted to surprise the students and the teachers that were going to get these iPads, so I with some help of course, planned a surprise assembly. We even invited news crews to come and cover the story. The morning of the assembly I was so nervous. I made sure that everyone was in place and knew their lines and I triple checked that my speech was ready. When they introduced me, I felt like I was flying! It was the most amazing feeling in the world! Because I did that, the dean of students at my school nominated me for WE Day. WE Day is a celebration for kids who are making a difference in their schools or communities. Several musicians and speakers come and perform. The thing is, you can’t buy a ticket. You have to be nominated by your school. I have been trying to get into WE Day for about two years! So you can imagine my excitement when I found out that I was going! It’s supposed to be really inspiring and extremely fun! So I’m ecstatic! Here’s the follow up after WE Day:

WE Day was absolutely incredible! I had so much fun! I saw several kids my age that got to speak. And it inspired me so much, that I have decided that if I go back next year I want to speak! It also motivated me to do more fundraisers and to help out more in my community.
From, Cass]]>