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Celebration

NEC Student Amelia Ruff's shares her thoughts on graduation and beyond

Well it’s June! I can’t believe it’s here and summertime vibes are in high gear, particularly with family and friend barbecues, traveling, swimming, planting gardens and so much more. 

June 4th, 2023, I walk the aisle dressed in cap and gown as I will be handed my official diploma. A journey filled with trials, tribulations and success. I am sure you all can relate in a way to the struggles and accomplishments achieved. But remember if you continue to work hard, you too will have your shining moments. Advocacy is your friend, sometimes it could be difficult but it brings you far. My school career has evolved so much as I look back seeing how far I’ve come. I began early intervention with occupational, physical and speech therapy until I was ready for preschool. I entered the public school for several months until it became clear to my parents that more intense services, particularly in language and social needs. My inability to communicate effectively with my peers led to unwanted behaviors. My parents called multiple IEP meetings and strongly advocated for evaluation from a teacher of the Deaf and placement at a private school for the deaf was appropriate. It was a much needed placement. That’s where I made my very first best friend then and still today. We are even attending the same college! Such a social necessity to be part of kids that are similar to you. As I ended 5th grade and I had support that helped me communicate with peers and teachers, I was ready to move into 6th grade as a mainstream student in the local public school. Lots of trepidation, curiosity and growth opportunities were once again upon us. This is where I truly learned to advocate for my needs. Throughout the next several years there were abundant times of ups and downs. Personally coming to my own understanding of my individual learning difficulties and style such as vision, hearing and processing as well as coping with teachers who did not understand or who were unwilling to accommodate taught me patience, endurance and tenacity. Every year there was a new component to learn. However I’ve always made it to the other side of obstacles. The number one tool along with advocacy is open communication between yourself and your teachers. You will prevail, just like I did! All of my advocacy led to my graduation and receiving two scholarships.

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