It’s about twice the required length… ~300 words instead of 150… but I can’t see how I could shorten it without losing something.
Last summer, I volunteered as an immersion counselor for a four year old boy named Sean who had severe behavioral and mental difficulties. Before I got there, Sean was isolated. The counselors took him away from the other children and discouraged him from interacting with them despite the fact that he was a very sweet boy. While I was being introduced, one of the counselors mentioned to me that Sean loved to give high-fives. This is how I built a rapport with him; whenever I wanted his attention, I asked for a high-five. Pretty soon, the other children were noticing this. At first, they only asked me for high-fives, but eventually they started asking Sean also. The first time I saw this, it brought tears to my eyes because the other children were finally accepting Sean. After that, they gradually started playing and running around with him, although there remained a few who refused to have anything to do with him. It impressed me how large of an influence, whether positive or negative, an adult can have on a child. The other counselors treated Sean as something to be avoided, or dealt with and because of this, so did the children. Its amazing how it only took a few days to change this mindset for most of the children, despite the fact that the other adults still acted the same towards Sean. That was my first experience working with the disabled, but by far not my first experience with children. I know that I will continue to work with children because it is something Ive been doing for most of my life, and I love it. I have already noted a preschool bordering Swarthmores campus and will look into volunteering there when I get settled.