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Loving the Unloved

Name: Bayinnah K Shah
From: Los Angeles, CA
Grade: 10
School: Calvert Highschool
Votes: 0

My sister is described as being “unlovable”. They say that she’s dumb, far-too energetic
and the most unpleasant adjective used, retarded. My sister is
autistic and she is also sassy, creative, and intelligent. I know
that and she knows that. I have always “volunteered” to help her.
I help clothe, bathe her, and more for most of my life. So, it was
only natural for me to expand that helpfulness with more people like
my sister. Instead of bathing or feeding them, I volunteer by
assisting their therapists.

I volunteer at a horse ranch. This horse ranch has special classes for people with
special needs and disabilities. My responsibility is to make sure the
poor kid doesn’t fall off the horse, prompt the kids to do special
activities, help them feed their horse, tack up and “tack down”
their horse, and guide their horse. I volunteered every Saturday for
3-4 hours. We are currently on break.

This is a wonderful job, but it was challenging. These kids, including my sister, weren’t
always compliant. They had tantrums, crying sprees, and even biting
sprees on one occasion. The kids weren’t the only making a fuss,
the horses were too. There’s this one horse I sincerely despise
that tries to bite me every time I guide him. Ironically, I was
always paired with him. This job has taught me patience. I, for one,
was not good at practicing patience. If I didn’t see instant
results, I’d give up. Now I know that patience is the key in this
field.

Even with the challenges, I love this job. The satisfaction I get from this job
equates to no other. “Banana Man” was an autistic kid that we
were working with. He didn’t talk much and was quiet. After we got
him on that horse, he was smiling, laughing, and gave us a sincere
happy dance. That’s why I love doing this. Banana Man’s smiles,
my sister’s smiles, and every single one of those children’s’
smile is my reason for being there. Those smiles showed that they
knew they could conquer the world and it is my dream to help them
make that happen.

Looking forward, I see these kids contributing to society. I see them conquering their
dream and competing with “normal kids”.

Looking back from the future, I am glad I made a difference. I’d feel ecstatic that I
helped cultivate and help grow the keys to our society. I’d feel
elated that I took the initiative to turn my feelings of compassion
into action.

This volunteering has seasoned me for the job I wish to pursue (Occupational Therapy).
I love the kids, the work, and everything about the volunteering.
Volunteering at this horse ranch has given me the utmost pleasure.

Thank you,

Bayinnah Shah


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